Clinton Foundation Could Begin Assisting China in Fight Against HIV/AIDS by August
The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation by August could begin providing technical assistance with antiretroviral treatment, diagnostic equipment and hospital management to China to help fight its HIV/AIDS epidemic, a foundation program director said on Thursday, Kyodo News reports (Kyodo News, 6/17). China's Ministry of Health and the foundation in April signed a memorandum of understanding to improve HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the country. Under the agreement, the foundation will provide assistance in operating HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs, establishing treatment and testing protocols and creating monitoring and evaluation programs. The health ministry authorized the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to discuss details of its AIDS plan with the Clinton Foundation. The Chinese government estimates that there are 840,000 HIV-positive people in the country and that 80,000 people have AIDS; however, some experts believe those figures are underestimates. The United Nations estimates that at least one million HIV-positive people live in China and the number could grow to 20 million by 2010 if efforts to prevent the virus are not implemented (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/30).
Training, Other Provisions
Ruby Sheng, the foundation's China country director, said that the foundation will provide training to doctors, adding that some Chinese doctors could study in other countries, or the foundation could bring AIDS experts to China, according to the News. The foundation likely also will establish an office in China, although the size of the staff is unknown, the News reports. The agreement does not allocate any funds to the Chinese government or groups because the foundation does not "give directly to people with HIV/AIDS [or] directly to governments," according to the News. Sheng said that the foundation and the health ministry are "working out details" for implementing portions of the agreement and she anticipates action by August, the News reports. She added that the foundation "tend[s] to be much more agile than a big bureaucracy" (Kyodo News, 6/17).