January #78 : China Syndrome - by Steve Friess

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Generation Next

2002 For Beginners

The Rainy Season

Ashcroft Goes to Pot

Statistical Significance

China Syndrome

Qatar Players

The Rights Stuff

Suicide Bomb

Con Condoms

Sex Pistols

Say What?

Female Trouble I

Female Trouble II

Newbie Trap

Feds Nix Lipo Fix

Who's Sore-y Now?

E & Thee

Tranny Pan

Dot the Eyes

Life in Wartime

Accidental Czar


Torch Song

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

January 2002

China Syndrome

by Steve Friess

The anonymous speaker sat off on one side of the stage, green glowsticks and shadowy lighting obscuring his identity. He told of his despair about having HIV and about the discrimination he would face if his neighbors knew, but he offered nary a critique of his government's failure to help in either problem. The heard-but-not-seen HIVer at China's first national conference on AIDS became a fitting symbol -- at least in the Western press -- of a regime only now fessing up to its health crisis.

Conspicuously absent from confab talk was any mention of the scandal in which tens of thousands of impoverished peasants got HIV by selling blood in Central China. A small group of them rode the overnight train from Henan Province -- about 300 miles south of Beijing -- to bend the ears of foreign journalists covering the event. Yet rather than grant them pride of place onstage in a show of PWA acceptance, the government locked up the peasants in a Beijing hospital for the duration. They were officially quoted in the English-language mouthpiece China Daily as being grateful for the fine care.

Still, the conference marked the culmination of China's great leap forward in 2001. Health Minister Zhang Wenkang admitted earlier this year that the 28,133 reported HIV cases are only a tiny fraction of the national reality of 600,000 to 1 million.

Conference attendees predictably said that while the media's exclusion was disappointing, the discussions among the 2,700 participants from 20 nations were promising. Hong Kong gay activist Cheng To noted that the "men who have sex with men" panels were surprisingly frank and nonjudgmental. And Beijing-based British advocate Billy Stewart was equally diplomatic: "It's not what happens at these conferences that matters," he said. "It's what happens afterward."

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.