UN Pushes China to Prevent HIV Epidemic

BEIJING - A recent report written by officials at the United Nations (UN)openly criticizes the Chinese government for not providing enough resources or education to prevent a looming HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"HIV/AIDS: China's Titanic Peril," says that without proper intervention, China could have the largest population of HIV patients worldwide. Chinese officials, who recognized HIV/AIDS as a serious health threat in August 2001, estimate there are some 850,000 Chinese citizens infected. However, UN officials say these numbers come from tainted data and the number of infected people may be as many as 6 million. By this estimate, there would be more than 20 million infected in China by 2010.

The report also discussed the discrimination of HIV/AIDS patients, using a law in the Chengdu province as an example. The law reportedly prevents those infected with HIV from working at hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, swimming pools and public baths.

The UN also notes that Chinese policy does not meet the UN goals for fighting worldwide spread of the disease.

Information from www.nytimes.com