21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016)


Civil Society Helps Drive Tailored Responses to End AIDS in China

July 21, 2016

Jan Beagle

Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director (Credit: International AIDS Society/Rogan Ward)

In recent years, the AIDS response in China has seen increasing civil society involvement in focused, community-based HIV prevention and treatment programming, which has contributed to maintaining low levels of HIV prevalence in the country and ensuring an increasingly evidence-informed, tailored response.

The strategies, progress and achievements of Chinese civil society organizations were the focus of a session at the 21st International AIDS Conference, taking place in Durban, South Africa, which brought together representatives of the Government of China, Chinese civil society, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS.

The session, held on July 20, showcased the China State Council approved Fund for Participation of Civil Society Organizations in AIDS Prevention and Care, which has invested 50 million renminbi (nearly US$ 7.5 million) to support the work of nongovernmental organizations in education, communication, testing, counselling, care and support, including with key populations.

Although overall HIV prevalence continues to be low, the absolute number of people living with HIV and the annual number of new HIV infections remain significant, particularly among key populations. Recognizing that social and community organizations that have the trust of key populations are best able to reach at-risk communities, the fund -- which has been designed, established and implemented in partnership with UNAIDS -- is playing an important role in increasing prevention and treatment programmes for key populations in China.

Opening the session in Durban, UNAIDS Executive Director Jan Beagle underlined how China has undertaken impressive efforts to analyse its epidemic and tailor its response. Recalling the visit of a delegation from the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) to China in May 2016 to explore the national response and the role of communities, Ms Beagle noted how the PCB delegation had seen first-hand that cost-effective and rights-based approaches that focus on populations and locations were proving to have impact.


The spirit of partnership and entrepreneurship, particularly with key populations, has helped to prevent new HIV infections and to raise awareness among higher risk groups. Sharing these experiences is essential to Fast-Track the AIDS response in China.

-- Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director

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This article was provided by UNAIDS. It is a part of the publication The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016). Visit UNAIDS' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.

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