The story of Almijan, a gaunt 31-year-old former silk trader with nervous eyes, has all the markings of a public health nightmare.
A longtime heroin addiction caused him to burn through $60,000 in life savings. Today, he says, all of his drug friends have AIDS and yet continue to share needles and to have sex with a range of women ” with their wives, with prostitutes, or as he said, “with whoever.”
For now, Mr. Almijan, whose name like many here is a single word, seems to have escaped the nightmare. His father carted him off to a drug treatment center hundreds of miles away in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region here in China’s far west. [Full Text]