Acceleration and innovation in China’s AIDS response
16 May, 2016
delegation of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) visited China from
9 to 12 May to get insight into how the country’s national AIDS response is on
the Fast-Track to end the epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
delegation met representatives of the government, civil society and the private
sector. Innovative and focused strategies, the engagement of non-traditional
stakeholders, accelerated efforts and the importance of political leadership
and advocacy on AIDS were identified as critical to Fast-Track the national
AIDS response in China.
China’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal target of ending AIDS by
2030, the Vice-Minister of Health, Wang Guoqiang, emphasized China’s support
for a strong Political Declaration on Ending AIDS at the United Nations General
Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS to be held in June. This would be an
important driver for further acceleration of the AIDS response globally and in
epidemic is concentrated among key populations at higher risk of HIV. Men who
have sex with men, especially in major cities, are particularly vulnerable to
HIV infection. HIV is prioritized at the highest levels of government and is
addressed across sectors. The response is funded almost entirely from domestic
leadership on HIV is an example of shared responsibility in action, with
multisectoral approaches engaging the government, civil society and the private
sector drawing on comprehensive national data,” said UNAIDS Deputy Executive
Director Jan Beagle, who led the visit. “This can provide important lessons
learned across continents, for South–South collaboration and particularly on
sustainability,” she added.
science, technology and community action for results
of innovative approaches were showcased during the visit, including Beijing’s
response to HIV. The city engages community-based organizations for enhanced
service delivery. In addition, it has adopted a one-stop-shop model for HIV
testing, has accelerated the test and treat strategy among men who have sex
with men, has piloted HIV self-testing programmes and uses new technologies to
support HIV prevention and treatment initiatives.
delegation made a site visit to Danlan, a nongovernmental organization
advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Danlan has
combined a community-driven HIV prevention programme with a social enterprise
scheme through social media—its dating application Blued, which has some 15
million users, includes links to HIV prevention and treatment services. The
founder of Danlan, Geng Le, underlined how Blued provides an example of how
combining science and technology can integrate the HIV response into the lives
of people away from clinics and hospitals.
discussions with the PCB delegation, members of Beijing’s Health and Family
Planning Committee emphasized that their data are showing that community-based
organizations, such as Danlan, have been particularly effective in carrying out
rapid testing campaigns that reach communities at higher risk of infection.
Although small in size, such campaigns have identified some 30% of all new HIV
cases in the city.
private sector’s role
also focused on private sector engagement and action on AIDS within the Chinese
delegation met with the Red Ribbon Foundation, a national philanthropic fund
comprising some 50 companies that are raising funds, providing materials and
cooperating with the government on accelerating AIDS efforts.
with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and
Health Products (CCCMHPIE) focused on China’s support for the local production
of medicines and health commodities in Africa. With the active engagement of
UNAIDS, CCCMHPIE is engaging in technology transfer between Africa and China.
The PCB delegation included representatives of Burundi, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Norway and Switzerland, as well as the PCB nongovernmental organization delegation and UNAIDS Cosponsors. During the visit, the delegation met with a range of national partners, including representatives of the government at the national and city levels, the National AIDS Committee, civil society and community organizations, business leaders, health-care workers, development partners, media representatives and the United Nations Country Team. The delegation visited several sites in Beijing, where the team saw how the city has scaled up access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services, including prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and community-based responses.