China Should Provide Medical Care, Compensation to HIV-Positive Blood Donors, Piot SaysUNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot on Thursday encouraged the Chinese government to provide compensation and medical care to thousands of people who contracted HIV through the government-supported blood transfusions in the late 1990s and early 2000s, AFP/AsiaOne News reports. According to AFP/AsiaOne News, many of the 40,000 HIV-positive people living in China's Henan province were infected with the virus through unsanitary blood collection drives approved by the local government.
Piot said he will raise the issue during a meeting with Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Friday. Piot called the situation "incredibly tragic," adding that Chinese courts have not yet resolved the issue of compensation for the affected people.
Although the government has created guidelines to provide HIV-positive people in Henan with the latest antiretroviral drugs, patients are "still dying" because they do not have access to the medication, Piot said. According to UNAIDS, about 700,000 people in China are living with HIV/AIDS and an estimated 50,000 new HIV cases occurred in 2007 (AFP/AsiaOne News, 9/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.