Home>News Center>China

Gov't goes provincial in fight against AIDS
By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-06-13 05:49

Provincial and local health departments are being asked to apply for funding for HIV/AIDS research as China raises its battle against the disease to a "comprehensive level."

A recent Ministry of Health release says AIDS killed 80 people across China in May, becoming the fourth deadliest infectious disease after tuberculosis, rabies and hepatitis.

The ministry also issued a circular last week to health departments across the country seeking research topics related to the prevention and control of the pandemic.

Any research is encouraged as long as it involves the evaluation of China's overall strategy and policies on HIV/AIDS control and prevention, the assessment of the distribution and use of resources in the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign, or the exploration of effective AIDS education and intervention.

Once approved, the research is expected to get underway immediately and will receive funding from the ministry.

"The emphasis of this year's research is to evaluate the country's overall strategy and policies on HIV/AIDS control and prevention," said ministry official Lei Suwen, who is charged with collecting applications.

"The research will be financed by the Chinese Government," Lei said. He did not know how much would be spent on each research project or the whole programme, or whether funding would be assessed by need.

Last year, the Chinese Government funded research into 11 AIDS-related areas - mainly medical - with this research is still ongoing.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official yesterday spoke highly of this latest effort by China.

"It comes at a very proper time," Zhao Pengfei, senior AIDS programme officer with the WHO's Beijing Office, said.

But Zhao said little had been done by the Chinese Government on the efficient use of HIV/AIDS funding and the most effective way to conduct AIDS education and intervention, despite a lot of money being injected into the anti-HIV/AIDS cause.

By 2007, the Chinese Government will have spent 3.9 billion yuan (US$474 million) on helping local governments fight the disease.

The United States also pledged last week to contribute US$35 million over the next three years in a joint effort with China to combat AIDS.

"So it's of great importance to use funds effectively, but that's not the case now in many provinces, such as Central and Southwest China's Henan and Yunnan provinces," said Zhao.

Zhao also warned AIDS and safe-sex education might easily become a mere formality or slogan, so an assessment is urgently needed to test the effectiveness of the programmes.

Some local health departments had not even received the circular, even though the application process is supposed to end before July.

Wang Kaili, deputy director of the Disease Control and Prevention Department in Heilongjiang Province, said he had not seen the circular yet, but described the research as "a tough job."

Between 2001 and 2002, Heilongjiang's health department successfully carried out government-funded research into the prevention of the spread of AIDS among homosexuals in China.

(China Daily 06/13/2005 page1)

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Flooding leaves 89 students dead in Heilongjiang



FDI in China dips in first 5 months



Gov't goes provincial in fight against AIDS



BoCom set to launch US$1.9b IPO in HK



EU: Yuan be pegged to a basket of currencies



Top Korean officials to meet in Pyongyang


  Death toll rises to 92 in Heilongjiang flooding
  EU: Yuan be pegged to a basket of currencies
  Official AIDS intervention sparks disputes
  Belgian King concludes state visit to China
  Hong Kong plans to enact anti-spam law
  Major rivers stable, Southwest drought severe
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Official AIDS intervention sparks disputes
Pope promotes abstinence to fight AIDS
Threatened chimps may hold key to AIDS
Prostitutes targeted in anti-AIDS battle
Sino-US programme targets HIV/AIDS
Government reveals plan to combat AIDS
Anti-AIDS drug 'breakthrough' claim
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008