China Bans AIDS Activists Meeting
China bans AIDS activists meeting
Sunday, 29 July 2007 09:57
China has banned a meeting by AIDS activists on the rights of people with the disease.
The conference would have brought together 50 Chinese and foreign experts and activists to discuss how to press the legal rights of people with HIV/AIDS.
But Chinese government authorities told the Asian Catalyst group to cancel the meeting planned for early August in Guangzhou near Hong Kong.
China had 203,527 officially registered cases of HIV/AIDS by the end of April, up from 183,733 at the end of October 2006. Of the latest figure, 52,480 had progressed to full-blown AIDS.
But the UN estimates the true number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country to be around 650,000.
Beijing now backs campaigns to educate citizens on avoiding infection, and victims infected through reckless commercial blood collection in rural Henan province have been given free medicines.
But officials in the one-party state remain wary of local activists and foreign groups pressing legal claims of infected citizens or raising official complicity in the spread of the disease.