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December 3, 2008

Chinese Activist Detained After World AIDS Day Ceremony

A Chinese AIDS activist said that police forcibly returned her to her rural Ningling home after she had participated in a World AIDS Day event in Beijing, The Associated Press reports. She cannot leave her home without a police escort and is forbidden from returning to the Chinese capital.

“Four [local] police and one township official took me on the train and accompanied me home,” she said in a telephone interview.

Li Xing, who is HIV positive, had previously been under house arrest since 2006, when she went to the Ministry of Health to petition for government compensation for those who were infected through unhygienic blood-buying rings that were allegedly backed by the Chinese government in the 1990s. Li contracted the virus at a local hospital through a blood transfusion in 1995 following the birth of her daughter, who died of AIDS-related complications in 2004.

According to the article, Li escaped house arrest 10 days ago and went to Beijing to give a statement before the Supreme Court, once again demanding compensation from the hospital. She told the AP that the Supreme Court turned her away. Officials tracked her down two days after her participation in the anti-stigma celebration at the Beijing National Stadium.

While Chinese officials are working to combat the stigma of HIV by providing anonymous testing and placing a ban on discrimination against people with the virus, HIV activist are still threatened, attacked and detained due to their work.

Search: China, activist, Beijing, World AIDS Day, Ningling, blood-buying

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