Hope for China to avoid AIDS catastrophe?

China does not have to become the next Africa, ripped apart by an all-out AIDS epidemic, according to this article.

A Taiwan-born health expert at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is helping lead the battle against a looming AIDS epidemic in mainland China.

Ray Yip is director of a new CDC China program. He and his deputy, Bessie Lee, launched their effort in spring in the world’s most populous nation.

Having worked in public health in China for more than five years, Yip has seen the alarming spread of the disease, with the number of infected people growing at about 30 percent annually for several years. Without stronger efforts, the number of people with HIV is predicted to jump from an estimated 1.5 million now to 20 million by the end of the decade.

But he also sees the country as being in a unique position to avoid an AIDS disaster.

“The window to avert a catastrophic situation like in the African countries is still within grasp,” he said. “But this opportunity won’t last forever.”

Yip describes what needs to be done and the obstacles he faces. In this entire lengthy article, there is only one reference to where the Chinese government stands in the matter:

“The apparently limited participation to date of government ministries beyond [the Ministry of Health and the State Family Planning Commission] suggests that decision-makers elsewhere in government have not yet been fully convinced of the magnitude of China’s HIV risk,” said the report filed by the team.

Is it not ironic that the war against the lethal disease that threatens to devastate China is being fought by a Taiwanese-born health expert working for America’s Centers for Disease Control, with almost no support from the government of China?

Related post: The indescribable tragedy of AIDS in China

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