China’s progress in fighting AIDS has been described as positive by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
The Chinese government has in recent years stepped up investments and efforts in HIV prevention, as well as treatment and care programs.
Activists acknowledge the progress, but say more can and should be done.
China recently launched a Five-Year Action Plan on AIDS Prevention and Control, setting out ambitious targets.
Voluntary HIV testing and counseling will increase, while access to antiretroviral medicines will be made more readily available.
Last year, more than 80 million people received HIV tests in the country, while over 130,000 are currently receiving free life-saving antiretroviral treatment.
Yuan Wenli is the secretary of Women’s Network Against HIV/AIDS, China’s largest network of women affected by HIV/AIDS.
She said the government’s recent formal acknowledgement of the positive role played by NGOs is a boost to non-governmental organizations.
She said the progress is the result of both internal and external factors.
But even so, activists say more can be done, such as stepping up efforts in key segments of the affected populations such as sex workers, men who have sex with other men, and intravenous drug users.
More too can be done to compensate blood contamination victims.
Better treatment also needs to be made available to rural victims.