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NGO calls for more transparency of HIV/AIDS programs for children

By Wen Ya  (Global Times)

09:57, November 14, 2012

Beijing Aizhixing Institute, a non-governmental HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment organization, is calling on the government to provide more detail on how it spends the more than 2-billion yuan ($320 million) treating and preventing the disease.

In a report released Monday focusing on the rights of children affected by HIV/AIDS, the institute declared the country has initiated some effective programs on the prevention, care and treatment of children over the past six years, but greater transparency is needed.

Liu Yige, a staffer with the institute, told the Global Times the government has not provided clear statistics on how many children are affected by HIV/AIDS and how much is spent on their care.

The institute has not received a response to its 2010 request for information from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The institute's report will be submitted Thursday to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which plans to discuss China's implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Children in September next year. The committee called for reports from the government and non-governmental organizations.

Liu said the institute's report details the plight of parents of children living with HIV/AIDS in Henan Province who complain they are not receiving the full subsidy they are entitled to from the local government, which has rejected their repeated petitions over the last two years.

The report suggests the central government could solve the problem by publishing the results of financial audits and by listening to the opinions of NGOs and experts in the field.

"The report is worthwhile for few are so dedicated to the cause," said Yu Fangqiang, director of Justice for All, an NGO in Jiangsu Province.

Another expert on HIV/AIDS, who refused to be identified, believes China is now transparent and open in publishing such information. "Every year, authorities release related information including cases, ages and genders."

In 2011 2 billion yuan was spent on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs, double what was spent in 2008, said Wu Zunyou, a director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention.

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