Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day China

Many advances in medicine to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide and to improve care to patients have been made over the past several years. However, there is still more work to be done.

On World AIDS Day, I’m reminded of that work as I read the headline of the Shanghai Daily: “AIDS kills 68,000 in China in just a year.” The loss of life and suffering caused by HIV/AIDS is sobering and regrettable.

However, while in China this week, I am reminded of the work Project HOPE has performed in this country with the support of global companies such as Abbott, Pfizer and others to help people with HIV/AIDS.

During 2002 in Central China, improper plasma donation transmitted HIV to more than 250,000 rural farmers. With the assistance of our corporate partners and the leadership of China’s leading HIV/AIDS expert, Dr. Gui Xi’en, Project HOPE launched a training program in Hubei Province to introduce antiretrovirals as part of the treatment regimen.

Project HOPE trained 78 “master” trainers who then trained more than 8,700 doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians on how to incorporate the antiretrovirals into patient care.

The training was invaluable and lifesaving. Between 2002 and 2006, deaths among the HIV patients in Hubei Province dropped 72 percent. Read More from Health Affairs.

Innovative approaches like Project HOPE initiated in China, combined with the tremendous work of our NGO colleagues and continued advances in medicine will make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Story by Rand Walton, HOPE's Director of Strategic Communications, now in China for the groundbreaking of the new Oncology Tower at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

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