China Must Produce Pediatric Antiretrovirals To Fill Shortage, Advocate Says
China must produce HIV/AIDS medications for the tens of thousands of children living with the disease, Chung To, a Hong Kong-based HIV/AIDS advocate, said, Reuters Health reports. Although Chinese companies since 2002 have been manufacturing at least three generic antiretroviral drugs, they do not produce any such drugs for children. According to Chung, founder of the Chi Heng Foundation, which advocates for children affected by and living with HIV/AIDS, no pediatric antiretroviral drugs were available in China until last year when the Clinton Foundation donated antiretroviral drugs to 200 children. Chung said he hopes the Clinton Foundation's contribution will make the Chinese government aware of the need to care for HIV-positive children. There are about one million children in China either living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, Chung said (Tan, Reuters Health, 5/16).
Ministry To Increase HIV/AIDS Awareness Among Migrants
China's Ministry of Health recently announced that it plans to increase HIV/AIDS awareness among at least 60% of migrant workers through publicity events at construction sites and railway and bus stations, Xinhuanet reports. The ministry will educate migrant workers about the availability of no-cost HIV/AIDS treatment and promote HIV testing. The ministry also plans to assess the status of HIV prevention among migrant workers in coastal cities and capitals of central provinces, as well as enlist experts to help determine strategies to increase HIV/AIDS awareness among migrant workers. Health institutions are unable to provide health education to migrant workers or monitor them after treatment because they are constantly on the move, according to the ministry. A survey released by the research center of the State Council estimates that there are roughly 120 million migrant workers in China (Xinhuanet, 5/16).