China: market relations and AIDS

Yesterday, in Barselona a conference on AIDS was opened. The conference called the new potential centre of AIDS: China. An UNO report prepared the day before the conference drew much attention of the world community to the most populated country of the world – China.

Today, according to the document, there are about 40 million HIV-infected people or that who are already ill with AIDS. This is by 15 percent more than two years ago. While in China, the report sounds, the number of the infected and ill people has grown almost three times (from 600 thousand to 1.5 million). If even the UN data is exaggerated, the tempo of the growth is really impressive.

As for non-Chinese mass media, they seem to be ignorant about the reasons of the phenomenon. For example, BBC, while referring to UN advice to Chinese politicians to head the anti-AIDS fight and to popularize “save sex,” notices that even talks about sex are forbidden in the Chinese too conservative culture. Though, BBC is not right. Wise versa, already in the 1950s, even in the party press you could face publications about “how to use candom” with a detailed instruction. The reason of the outburst is not conservatism of the Chinese and not the authorities’ carelessness, but objective social and economical processes.

First of all, in China in the late 1980s, drug traffic and drug addiction started to develop, while HIV is mostly spread through intravenous injections.

Second reason is the country’s openness towards the West and western culture which ruins the institute of family and furthers liberal sexual relations among city dwellers.

Third reason is weakening of the central control and freedom of local initiative and for different enterprise of everybody who hurries up to become rich sooner than others. As a result, there is such a form of business, as “private blood transfusion”: many poor peasants who sold their blood in such donor points were infected, because the owners of that points did not keep sanitary norms from commercial reasons.

The Chinese leadership calls in question the UN figures, though it became more attentive to this issue, which signifies the presence at the conference of the Chinese delegation headed by deputy minister of health Ma Syaovay.

Andrei Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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