Letting light into an Aids ‘black hole’

A team led by Dr. David Ho will distribute an cocktail therapy for HIV/Aids in Henan Province, according to a report in the South China Morning Post (reg required): “Taking a small step on a long journey, a group headed by world-renowned Aids researcher David Ho Dai-i will soon reach out to the infamous Aids villages of Henan with drug treatment for HIV carriers who have entered ‘the peak of death’. A 10-member team from the China Aids Initiatives, most of them doctors, will visit remote villages in the province starting from next year to teach health-care workers how to administer the cocktail therapy for Aids victims.

Most of the patients are poor farmers who contracted the disease when they sold blood in the 1990s without proper medical safeguards. For years, the central government tried to cover up the issue and gave little help to those afflicted with HIV and Aids. But Beijing has recently acknowledged the problem and begun to open the doors to outside help. ”

“Last week the Ministry of Health announced nationwide HIV testing for people who sold blood in the 1990s in an effort to detect Aids patients at an early stage. Local health departments have until mid-April to do it. According to the ministry, the mainland has 840,000 HIV carriers – 11,844 of them in Henan. UNAids estimates that 20 million mainlanders could be infected with HIV by 2010.

At least 80,000 people have full-blown Aids across the mainland. Those infected by blood sales in the mid-90s are now at ‘the peak of death’, when HIV often turns into Aids.”


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