China Signs $32 Million Global Fund Grant for HIV/AIDS Programs
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Thursday announced the signing of a grant agreement worth $32 million over two years for an HIV/AIDS program in China, according to a Global Fund release. The grant will help fund the China Comprehensive AIDS RESponse, or China CARES, program, which is an "extensive" community-based HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention initiative launched by the Chinese government in 2003. The program focuses on seven provinces, including Anhui, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Shanxi and Shaanxi, which are in "urgent need" of comprehensive care and treatment programs because of high HIV prevalence. Unsafe blood collection procedures in the early and mid-1990s facilitated widespread HIV infection among many rural Chinese farmers, according to the release (Global Fund release, 8/19). The program paid farmers for their blood and sold it at state hospitals and private clinics. 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 that those figures are an underestimate. The United Nations estimates that there are at least one million HIV-positive people in China (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/10). Within the targeted provinces, HIV/AIDS treatment and care will be provided to all who need it, including injection drug users and commercial sex workers, according to the release. The program also will provide antiretroviral drugs to 3,000 former blood donors in Henan and four other provinces. The program includes prevention services, voluntary counseling and testing, treatment of opportunistic infections and community-based care and support. The Chinese government has contributed $13.4 million to the program, and the Global Fund plans to contribute $98 million over five years to the initiative (Global Fund release, 8/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.