China Launches Survey To Determine Number of HIV-Positive People in Henan Province
More than 500,000 officials and specialists on July 26 began a survey project that aims to reach more than one million people in 18 cities and 35 counties in the Henan province of Central China to determine how many people there are HIV-positive, including those who became infected from "illegal and unsanitary" blood stations in the 1990s, Ma Jianzhong, director of the Henan Health Bureau announced over the weekend, China Daily reports (Guo, China Daily, 9/13). Unsafe blood collection procedures in the early and mid-1990s facilitated widespread HIV infection among many rural Chinese farmers. 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, 8/20). The Henan provincial government already has documented 21,703 HIV-positive people who became infected after visiting the blood stations, bringing the total to 25,036 HIV-positive people in the region, the highest provincial total in China (China Daily, 9/13). China passed a law last month prohibiting the blood trade, according to Reuters (Reuters, 9/13). People from rural areas make up 97% of HIV cases in Henan and almost 80% nationwide (China Daily, 9/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.