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Criticism of China’s treatment of AIDS patients
The Epoch Times
8/9/2004

The International AIDS Conference held in Bangkok ended on July 16. China was singled out for criticism by human rights organizations for closing AIDS orphan schools and detaining those farmers striving for the rights of AIDS patients.

A BBC China net report on July 16 noted that the Chinese authorities focused much attention on the Conference; sending a delegation of about 500 people to attend. They included high-ranking Department of Health officials and members and experts of unofficial (but government approved) organizations. The Chinese delegation was the biggest one attending the conference.

However, China was criticized for the way it treats AIDS patients. Two organizations, AIDS Policy Project and Act Up in Paris, noted the irony of the Chinese officials kindly exchanging experiences with experts from international communities in Bangkok, while back home, those who strove for the rights of AIDS patients were harassed and jailed by the government.

According to experts over one million farmers in Henan province are infected with AIDS after selling their blood. Many children have been orphaned as a result. A founder of an AIDS orphan school in Shangqiu city told a local official that the school was closed after he decided to join demonstrations and protests while in Bangkok. Four farmers were also detained because they tried to appeal for those orphans who lost their school.

AIDS Policy Project and Act Up in Paris asked the Chinese government to release the four farmers. They made a declaration to the Chinese Embassy in Thailand saying that they originally wanted to give a more upbeat appraisal of the gains China had made in AIDS problems last year. However, they said that when the people who fought for the betterment of the rights of those in China blighted by AIDS were detained and jailed, it was difficult to remain positive about the situation.

According to the estimation of experts, there are at least one million farmers are infected with AIDS for selling blood in the poor province of Henan alone.

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