Vancouver’s HIV work draws interest in China
Work pioneered in Vancouver to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS has caught the attention of governments as far away as China.
A delegation of health officials from the Yunnan province met with officials from the BC Centre For Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital yesterday to learn more about the success of treatment programs here.
Brian Chittock, executive director of AIDS Vancouver, said it’s likely the delegation singled out Vancouver because the city has become a leader in treatment and prevention. “They were very interested in our prevention work, in our stigma reduction and of course the HIV treatment,” he said, adding China has recently adopted the HAART cocktail treatment first established in Vancouver.
“This is the first time a government from another country has chosen to do that, and that’s pretty significant,” he said. “Lately (the Yunnan) province has seen a massive increase in infections. They have the same problems we have around people not wanting to be tested, and not accessing treatment.”
Chittock said the meeting was a good start to a new partnership.
HIV in China
There are an estimated 740,000 people living with HIV in China.
- In 2009, AIDS became the most deadly of infectious diseases in China for the first time, surpassing tuberculosis.
- Heterosexual sex overtook intravenous drug use as the main route of HIV transmission in China in 2007.
- In 2009, around 42 per cent of people newly infected with HIV in China became infected through heterosexual sex.
Source: Avert AIDS charity