Young China’s Desperate Aids Battle
A new report by Asia Catalyst says that HIV-positive children in China are not getting the care they need. From The National:
The report, I Will Fight to My Last Breath: Barriers to Aids Treatment for Children in China, describes how HIV-infected children face challenges getting the help that they are entitled to, including gaps in the government treatment programme, poverty, the refusal or inability of some hospitals to offer treatment, and local government inertia and even interference.
The report says there is a lack of doctors trained to deal with HIV/Aids. In Henan and Yunnan, two provinces hit hard by the disease, many rural doctors cannot even recognise the symptoms and some turn away patients out of unfounded fears of contagion.
And despite government mandates that hospitals provide care, funding is often insufficient, which means there is a disincentive to identify or treat patients.
Many children die without even knowing that they had what rural people call “the no name fever”, either because the doctors never diagnosed the disease or else tried to cover it up.