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Michel Sidibe commends China's progress in AIDS response

November 24, 2009
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe, during his visit to China, commended the People's Republic of China on rises in domestic spending for HIV prevention and care in spite of a global financial crisis where other countries are weighing the risks of making cuts.

Speaking during the opening of the Fifth Conference for the International Cooperation Programme on AIDS in Shanghai, Mr Sidibe congratulated the country, saying, "China's progress can invigorate an AIDS response that teaches and inspires the world."

Also on the panel with Mr Sidibe were China's Health Minister, Dr Chen Zhu; Mayor of Shanghai, Han Zheng; Vice Director of the Department of International Cooperation, Dr Ren Minghui; Dr Wu Zunyou from the National Centre for HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention (China) and UNFPA's Dr Bernard Coquelin.

Earlier during his visit Mr Sidibe held a bilateral meeting with Health Minister Dr Chen Zhu and acknowledged the country's progress on the AIDS response.

While HIV prevalence in China is estimated to be less than 0.1 per cent of the total population, the epidemic continues to grow - the majority of new infections are related to injecting drug use and sexual transmission.

China's senior leaders, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, have over the years shown commitment towards addressing the AIDS epidemic. The national budget for HIV prevention and care rose from RMB 390 million (US$48.75 million) in 2003 to RMB 983 million (US$144.13 million) in 2008. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has recently approved a disbursement of US$ 500 million to China to scale up its programmes for HIV prevention, treatment and care.

Mr Sidibe added, "The world eagerly anticipates China's enhanced role in global governance--and its leadership in the global response to AIDS." It has accomplished some of the lowest child and maternal death rates and lowest prevalence of HIV, TB and malaria.

Its "Four Frees and One Care" policy provides free voluntary counselling and testing, free antiretroviral treatment, free services to prevent mother-to-child transmission, free schooling for children orphaned by AIDS, and care for people with HIV in 127 sites nationwide.

Also, China now has more drug replacement clinics and needle social marketing programmes than any other country in Asia.

Speaking about China's national AIDS programme, Mr Sidibe noted, "This scale of transformation gives me and many others hope that China can make breathtaking strides in other areas of universal access, if the will is there. And I believe it is."

Mr Sidibe called for human rights, equity and the involvement of the civil society and affected communities in all aspects of the AIDS response.

Earlier in the day Mr Sidibe launched two publications UNAIDS Outlook 2010 and 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update at a press conference. Dr Chen Zhu, Chinese Minister of Health; Dr Hiroki Nakatani, Assistant Director General, AIDS, TB, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO; and Ms Zhao Chunki, Social worker also participated in the press conference which was webcast live from Shanghai.

The Executive Director plans to meet with China's Vice Premier, Mr Li Keqiang, as well as launch the highlights of the China Stigma Index that documents the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV in China.

Later in the week, Mr Sidibe's will also participate in the launch of two campaign materials on awareness about AIDS: a poster and a public service announcement featuring Chinese basketball star Yao Ming and a group of people living with HIV.


Related information:

China -

Key populations:

People who use injecting drugs - rugUsers/

Sex workers and clients - ers/


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria - B+and+Malaria/default.asp

Press centre:

Eight-year trend shows new HIV infections down by 17%--most progress seen in sub-Saharan Africa - /archive/2009/20091124_pr_EpiUpdate.asp


View photo gallery - 123.asp

Feature stories:

UNAIDS Executive Director visit to China opens with focus on civil society -

External links:

Global Business Coalition -

International Cooperation Programme on AIDS -


AIDS epidemic update 2009 (pdf, 1.60 Mb) - f

UNAIDS Outlook Report 2010 (pdf, 4 Mb.) -

A joint assessment of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in China - f