News Outlets Report on Growing Pressure on Chinese Government to Acknowledge How Blood Transfusions, Donations in 1990s Contributed to Spread of HIV/AIDS in China

The Los Angeles Times examines the factors that contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS among people living in China who donated blood and received blood transfusions at government-run hospitals in the 1990s. According to the newspaper, "the Chinese government has yet to offer an apology or investigate a massive cover-up that allowed the disease to spread exponentially after it was well known that the blood supply was tainted. ... Besides free [anti-]retroviral drugs, victims have received almost no compensation." The article includes quotes from several people living with HIV/AIDS in China who say they became infected during blood transfusions (Demick, 11/27).

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that a retired Chinese health official this week appealed for the government "to come clean about a 1990s blood-selling scandal that infected tens of thousands of people with the virus that causes AIDS. ... His appeal this week for a full and open investigation highlights a contradiction in China's AIDS policy. Even as the government has become more open and better at treating HIV, it has refused to acknowledge past lapses, which it fears could embolden citizens to challenge its legitimacy" (Wond, 11/30).

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