China Detains HIV/AIDS Advocates in Preparation for Legislative Session
Chinese authorities have been detaining or placing under surveillance HIV/AIDS advocates ahead of a 10-day legislative session in Beijing to which people traditionally travel to air their grievances, advocates and human rights groups said Friday, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Visser, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/3). According to Toronto's Globe and Mail, security forces have increased their presence in Henan province -- where it is estimated about 300,000 HIV-positive people were infected through illegal blood sales and contaminated equipment in the mid 1990s -- to prevent HIV/AIDS advocates from reaching the annual session of the National People's Congress. China typically monitors or detains activists during parliamentary sessions in order to prevent protesters from disrupting meetings. However, an increasing number of people living with HIV/AIDS and advocates have been among those targeted during the government sessions, the Globe and Mail reports (York, Globe and Mail, 3/4). According to a report released in January by China's Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS, an estimated 650,000 HIV-positive people lived in China in 2005, and 75,000 of those people have developed AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/26). China's parliamentary session was scheduled to start on Sunday, Dow Jones reports (Dow Jones, 3/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.