From the Director: Collaborating on HIV/AIDS in China
October 2009–Since TREAT Asia's earliest years, we have worked closely with a range of partners in China, collaborating on HIV observational research, treatment literacy, community development, and research capacity-building. This issue of the TREAT Asia Report focuses on how far these efforts have come, and reminds us of the challenges of caring for the estimated 700,000 people living with HIV in China today.
We start with an interview with amfAR Ambassador Michelle Yeoh, who has used her celebrity status to shine a light on the needs of people living with HIV in China and around the world. Her efforts have led to greater support for programs like the Red Ribbon Centers, established by AIDS Care China with technical and financial support from TREAT Asia and GlaxoSmithKline-Positive Action. These centers help improve medical management and provide social support for people with HIV/AIDS, among them members of a family whose story appears here.
Chinese researchers have made significant advances in understanding the path of the epidemic by studying treatment outcomes for adults and children on antiretroviral treatment. But recent publications indicate that many obstacles remain to improving and scaling up treatment access, and that local acceptance of people living with HIV can be problematic . Facing and fighting stigma and discrimination is a common thread that runs through this issue of the TA Report. China's advocates, scientists, and program implementers are promoting greater understanding of how HIV affects us all. We look forward to continuing our work in China and to supporting the efforts of our Chinese partners.
Annette Sohn, M.D.
Director, TREAT Asia