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MSF gives HIV/AIDS sufferers free help
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-19 06:43

NANNING: Medical aid organization Medecins Sans Frontires (MSF) has provided free medical aid to 260 HIV/AIDS patients in China since late 2003, the charity says.

MSF is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides emergency medical assistance to people in danger in more than 80 countries.

Speaking from Nanning in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Max-Antoine Grolleron, MSF's French Section representative in China, said MSF began its medical aid to China in 1996 with a medical service programme in Rongshui County, Guangxi.

Since an agreement signed by the Guangxi Regional Health Bureau and the Regional Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in December 2003, an outpatient service has been established to provide free medical care to HIV/AIDS patients from Nanning, the regional capital, and five adjacent counties.

According to Grolleron, patients receive health check-ups, tests, and medical treatment at the outpatient service.

Medical costs at the outpatient service last year totalled 6 million yuan (US$723,000), said Huang Xiaoying from MSF's Nanning office.

MSF has also been helping deal with mother-to-child transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus in co-operation with hospitals in Nanning. Women infected by the HIV/AIDS virus can take anti-retroviral medicine during pregnancy.

Up to now, six infected women have given birth. "We will not know whether or not the babies are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus until the infants are one and a half years old," said Stefano Manfredi, an Italian doctor with MSF.

(China Daily 04/19/2005 page3)

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