PRI’s ‘The World’ Examines Chinese Government’s ‘About-Face’ on HIV/AIDS, Efforts To Reduce Stigma
Although the Chinese government has done an "about-face" in its efforts to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country and is spending more on HIV/AIDS education, awareness and treatment, the stigma attached to the disease is proving "especially tough to fight," "The World" -- a co-production of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston -- reports. The segment profiles several HIV-positive Chinese men and their efforts to protect themselves and their families from discrimination, such as assuming a false name to avoid losing a job if HIV test results are released to employers. According to PRI, this level of discretion "is common" among China's estimated 840,000 HIV-positive residents, some of whom might not collect the antiretroviral drugs distributed by the government at no cost because of the stigma associated with the disease. However, PRI reports that there are several signs of the government's attempts to "lessen the stigma," including attempts to increase awareness of the need to keep HIV test results confidential, improve training for hospital workers on how to treat patients with HIV/AIDS, distribute regular public service announcements on radio and television programs, and include lessons about HIV/AIDS in schools. The segment includes comments from Joel Rehnstrom, UNAIDS coordinator for China, and officials from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Magistad, "The World," PRI, 9/28).
The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.