I guess she’s needed at home

A decidedly mixed message from the Chinese authorities (from Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS report).

The Chinese government on Monday praised HIV/AIDS advocate and retired physician Gao Yaojie after placing her under house arrest last week to prevent her from visiting the U.S. to accept an award from the group Vital Voices Global Partnership… According to Gao’s friend and Beijing-based AIDS advocate Hu Jia, Chinese authorities from the eastern province Henan told Gao not to attend the Vital Voices awards ceremony. When Gao refused, she was put under house arrest to prevent her from traveling to Beijing to apply for a U.S. visa…Gao in the 1990s alerted people in Henan of HIV cases that occurred through tainted blood transfusions. Gao also distributed material warning people of HIV and the risks of donating blood. In addition, Gao has distributed medicine to HIV-positive people, provided cared for AIDS orphans and hosted people living with HIV/AIDS in her home. She also has written a book about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China. Chinese authorities in 2001 and 2003 prevented Gao from traveling abroad to accept awards for her work (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/6). According to the AP/ Herald Tribune, Communist Party deputy secretary for Henan Chen Quanguo visited Gao in her home and praised her “long-standing contributions” to the province’s “education, health and AIDS prevention work.”

I guess she’s lucky not to live in Libya.

February 14, 2007

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