2001-12-05
An Open Letter to the Chinese Govt : Recognize People's Dignity and Rights, Show Concern to Places W

An Open Letter to the Chinese Government :

Recognize People's Dignity and Rights, Show

Concern to Places Widespread with AIDS

AIDS in China has turned disastrous. The situation has reached such a stunning stage that in some regions, patients died in mass and lots of families disappeared from the earth. As the approaching of the World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, we strongly demand the Chinese Government to look squarely into the issue.

 

Poverty, discrimination plus a lack of support have deprived many AIDS patients from getting proper medical treatment. They could only lie silently on bed waiting for death to fall upon them, or they just kill themselves. There are also some, who witnessed the death of their beloved one, refused to accept the cruel fact that they are HIV (virus that caused AIDS) carriers themselves, living a life without hope. Some, due to their ignorance to AIDS and to the ways of how it spread, continue to spread the virus to others. They did not even know what kind of disease they had caught when they died. AIDS has created numerous broken families, leaving behind a large crowd of lovely children without parents. Some children who get infected through their mothers are born as HIV carriers and simply because of this, lost their rights to live.

 

Upon the suffering of these people, the Chinese Government has an inevitable responsibility because many of them are get infected in blood transfusion in hospitals while many more are impoverished peasants who get infected through the unsanitary procedure in blood selling.

 

Despite rapid economic growth in China in recent decades, a lot of peasants in the inland regions continue to suffer from poverty. Responding to the rise of blood product industry from late 1980s to early 1990s, those who could not be self-sustained were encouraged by the local governments to sell blood to the blood collection centers for a living. But for the sake of making money, these governments neglected entirely the unsanitary blood collection procedure. They even winked at such practice, giving out more blood collection permits. Some even run their own blood collection centers, becoming the one who victimized the innocent. Although such news have been revealed by the media in the mainland several years ago, the local governments and the central government turned a deaf ear to them. Some officials who feared the scandal would affect their political career blocked the news, giving the responsible departments a chance to suppress deliberately such AIDS warnings from the journalists and medical experts while continue to run the lucrative blood product industry, vandalizing the people.

 

Why do the inland peasants need to sell blood every two to three days to earn a living? Why could the hospitals collect blood publicly and illegally and how come the blood banks of the hospitals can be contaminated so easily? Why could the authority be so reckless to lives and health safety just for the sake of economic benefits? Why could the central and local governments be so apathetic and indifferent over these incidents? Why could the governments still lie and denied about the fact when the widespread of AIDS in rural villages have caught the attention of the international community since April? Why could the authority suppress so willfully the journalists and medical experts who revealed the cases? Why is that until now there are so many patients are not being able to receive treatment and support? Why… For these tons of questions that we cannot think through, we hope that the Chinese Government could give a clear answer to its people.

 

But one thing is for sure: the emergence of these problems is utterly due to the dereliction of the government in protecting the fundamental rights of its people and in managing public health care. The Constitution of China stated that the nation has the duty to protect the fundamental human rights of its natives and to develop medical health care system to protect their health. As the approaching of the World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 and the World Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, we want to reiterate here these rights of the people, and demand strongly the Chinese Government to implement its duty seriously.

 

The Chinese Government has been insufficient in prevention and education on AIDS all along. Hence we hope that it can bear in mind the warning of experts: Unless effective remedial measures are being adopted, China would turn into a worst-hit area of AIDS in the world. We hope the Chinese Government could understand that the AIDS issue brings not only economic loss but also the loss of valuable lives, with problems like poverty and orphanage to follow.

 

We also hope that the Chinese Government could understand that countless families have been suffered from poverty, and we really should not let them suffer another great pain.

 

And thus, we demand the Chinese Government to:

1. conduct a comprehensive survey, pinpointing the widespread of AIDS in rural villages, on the number of people being infected with the HIV virus through blood selling, and provide them with medical treatment.

2. come up with a safe blood supply system.

3. conduct broad and in-depth educational program on AIDS.

4. stop blocking news coverage on AIDS as to implement press freedom.

5. draft laws against discrimination on AIDS/HIV carriers.

  1. bargain collectively with international pharmaceutical firms to slash prices of the expensive drugs, which are unaffordable by the ordinary people, and shoulder part of the medical cost for the people.