China begins giving free HIV/AIDS drugs to the poor
New York TimesThe Chinese government has started providing free treatment for poor people with HIV and AIDS and plans to expand the program next year until every poor person who has tested positive is receiving medical help, a top Health Ministry official said in a speech this week. The speech on Thursday by Gao Qiang, the executive deputy health minister, released by the official New China News Agency, was hailed by Chinese and Western AIDS workers as a significant step for a country that has come under intense criticism for its earlier handling of the disease. Even so, AIDS activists warned that China must do far more than give out medicine, and HIV-positive patients in Henan cautioned that problems were already arising with the free drug program.
—Posted: November 9, 2003
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