Essay by ittybittyjack December 2004

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In a speech delivered on October14th, 2002 at China's prominent Zhejiang University, the newly-honored Zhejiang University honorary doctor UN Secretary General Kofi Annan used nearly half of his oral power to talk about aids and aids in china. He warned that China "stands on the brink of an explosive AIDS epidemic" and must act immediately to halt the potential catastrophe. "There is no time to lose if China is to prevent a massive further spread of HIV/AIDS. China is facing a decisive moment," he said, "The epidemic has become a moving target, and is at risk of spinning out of control." 1

While most Chinese may be shocked to hear his seemingly over-exaggerated words, the situation of HIV/AIDS in China is every bit as serious. According to a report issued by the state Ministry of Health, by the first half of 2002, the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS, which increased 16.7%

over the same period of 2001, has reached 1,000,000, and experts worry that if effective measures are not taken immediately, the number could have reached 10,000,000 by the end of the decade! 2

This essay probes into the several factors Illegal Blood Collection, IV Drug Use, Prostitution, Homosexuality, Poverty contributing to such alarming spread of the disease and thus makes an attempt to paint a portrait of the general situation of HIV/AIDS in China.

1) Illegal Blood Collection

Surveys show that in Western countries, intravenous drug use and sex are the principal ways in which HIV is spread. In China however the problem of HIV infection extends to the illegal collection of blood. According to various reports, from the 1980s to the mid-1990s many farmers earned their living by selling blood. Each "blood-head" or xietou, a person who organized a group of such donors, led several dozen people...