Chinese admit to AIDS crisis from blood-selling practices

from the ADVOCATE

For the first time the Chinese government has admitted that Henan province in central China faces a serious AIDS crisis, BBC News reports. 

After months of refusing to admit there is a health problem, the nation's ruling Communist Party this month abruptly sent a team of health officials--including the deputy minister of health--to one of the hardest-hit villages in the province to launch a 24-hour clinic. More than half a million people in central China are believed to have been infected by selling their blood to brokers who pooled the blood products, removed the plasma, and then injected the remaining blood back into donors so that they could more quickly recover and make additional donations. 

The Chinese government reports only 23,905 cases of HIV/AIDS in the country as of the end of March, but the United Nations pegs the number at above 600,000 and says that by 2010 there will be more than 10 million Chinese who are HIV-positive.