Businesses, Government, NGOs Launch Alliance To Address HIV, TB in China
The Global Health Initiative of the World Economic Forum on Monday launched a public-private partnership that aims to address tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in China, China Daily reports. The China Health Alliance aims to bring together businesses, the Chinese government, U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations to address the two diseases (Liu, China Daily, 9/12). The alliance's main focus will be implementing HIV/TB programs in workplaces for migrant workers in rural areas, who account for 80% of TB cases in China, according to a WEF release (WEF release, 9/11). Up to five million migrant workers could benefit from the programs -- which will include education, medical exams, treatment and support -- GHI Director Francesca Boldrini said. Companies belonging to the alliance also must adopt policies of nondiscrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and TB (China Daily, 9/12). GHI has received donations from companies to implement the initiative, Boldrini said. The first phase of activities -- including Swire Beverages' newly implemented workplace policies and programs for its employees -- has begun. In the second phase, GHI plans to launch a pilot program in Guangdong province focusing on migrant workers employed by member companies (WEF release, 9/11). After two years, the program will be rolled out to other regions of the country (China Daily, 9/12). Along with Swire, member companies and organizations include Accenture; Becton, Dickinson and Company; China National Textile and Apparel Council; Constella Futures; Esquel; iKang; the Institute of Contemporary Observation; Karstadt Quelle; Marie Stopes International China; Pfizer; Social Accountability International; UNAIDS; the U.N. Development Programme; the World Health Organization; and World Vision International (WEF release, 9/11). About 45% of China's population is believed to be living with latent TB, and an estimated 4.5 million people in the country have active TB, accounting for 15% of the world's total, according to China Daily. An estimated 650,000 people in China were believed to be HIV-positive last year, China Daily reports (China Daily, 9/12).
Yunnan Province Could Have 73,000 New HIV Cases By 2010, Official Says
In related news, China's Yunnan province could have about 73,000 new HIV cases by 2010 if new HIV prevention programs are not initiated, Ma Yanling, deputy director of the provincial center for disease control and prevention's HIV/AIDS department, said, Xinhuanet reports. Yunnan at the end of 2005 had 40,157 recorded HIV cases, and local officials estimate about 85,000 people living in the province have contracted the virus since 1989. Lu Lin, director of Yunnan's disease control and prevention center, said that half the migrant population in the province is using condoms and that 4% of injection drug users are receiving treatment at methadone clinics. "HIV is now mainly caught by sexual contact, rather than intravenous drug use as in the past," Lu said, adding that the ratio of HIV-positive females to HIV-positive males has increased from 1 to 10 in the early 1990s to 1 to 2.2 in 2005. "Prevention efforts have been partially successful but are far from enough," Ma said (Xinhuanet, 9/12).