Human Rights Watch has penned its most forceful and damning article yet on AIDS in China and the CCP’s veil of secrecy regarding it:
The deadly epidemic thrives best where it can be shrouded in secrecy, where inaction or counterproductive actions by governments can be hushed up, and where the needs of those at risk and those living with the disease can be swept under any available carpet.
Despite government promises of increased openness post-SARS epidemic, secrecy continues to be a hallmark of AIDS in China, where tens of thousands, maybe a million, maybe more — impossible to know for sure — have been stricken with HIV because officials conspired with private businesses to cash in on the highly profitable blood plasma of poor rural people. Some of those living with AIDS have been harassed and arrested for demanding that the state provide care and treatment. Stigma and abuse heighten the HIV risk faced by millions of other Chinese. And people courageous enough to speak out about the epidemic may land themselves in detention.
While the author acknowledges some very small but positive steps by the government, she says they don’t even begin to scratch the surface. She concludes,
It is time for the curtain of secrecy to be drawn open on AIDS in China. A national AIDS strategy based on repression and fear will fail unless its goal is the biggest AIDS epidemic in history.
Related post: The indescribable tragedy of AIDS in China
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.