Friday, 30 November 2012

UK tabloid highlights Li Keqiang's role in illegal blood donation cover-up

Daily Mail says Li Keqiang covered up illegal blood donation scandal that saw thousands of Chinese infected with HIV
 Britain's Daily Mail newspaper today blames China's new prime minister Li Keqiang for covering up  tens of thousands of HIV infections from illegal blood donations in Henan.
In what the newspaper describes as "one of the biggest medical scandals of all time" it says 50,000 to 300,000 people were mistakenly infected with HIV in Henan province in the 1990s and China's new PM, Li Keqiang, was the man who led the cover-up.
Mr Li was governor of the area in 1998 when people contracted HIV from state-sponsored blood-buying rings with unhygienic practices.
The Mail says activists have urged Li to acknowledge the government's responsibility for the disaster and provide compensation, with little success.
There are no official figures because the Chinese government has never admitted or apologised for what happened but now Mr Li is desperately trying to rectify his shadowy past.
Earlier this week Li shook hands with Aids victims on Chinese television and promised to let NGOs play a more active role in battling the disease.
The stigma against people with HIV runs especially deep in China, from being unofficially barred from government jobs to being expelled from school.
In China, hospitals routinely reject people with HIV for surgery out of fear of exposure to the virus or harm to their reputations.
But last Friday, following Mr Li's orders, the health ministry banned hospitals from turning away infected patients.
During a meeting Monday with a dozen activist groups, he said such discrimination would be severely punished, according to Li Hu.
After years of denying AIDS was a problem in China, the country has significantly improved care for patients, but the lingering stigma sets back those advances.
Read more: Daily Mail

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