Sharing grace in China.

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UN, social groups join hands to help Chinese women living with HIV

UN, social groups join hands to help Chinese women living with HIV

It was barely a month ahead of the delivery of her child, a highly exciting moment for a mother, when Li Qing, a young woman in Jiangyou, Sichuan Province, realized that she was diagnosed HIV positive, a shocking announcement which erased all her happiness three years ago.

"I was really desperate at the moment," Li recalled. "I just wanted to die so I cut my wrists."

Fortunately, the gynecologic and obstetric interventions from the local maternal and child care service center and the center for disease control and prevention successfully prevented the disease transmitting from mother to child and Li's baby was born healthy.

HIV awareness

Many stories like Li's are particularly prevalent in China's far-flung countryside where women do not have enough awareness of how HIV is transmitted from many sources, especially from their partners. The dignity and equality for women who have succumbed to the disease has become a big concern for the UN and a number of social organizations, such as the Women's Network Against AIDS-China, which is engaged in joint efforts in hope that the AIDS epidemic can be terminated by 2030.

"Women living with HIV are subject to a greater number of stigmas, discrimination and are more vulnerable to infection by their partners often because they face being controlled or are subject to violence," she continued. Broussard said the needs of women living with HIV should be taken into account as UN Women and other social organizations should make joint efforts to help them.

Among the rights of women living with HIV, the primary demand is their desire to be mothers.

AIDS prevention and control

China has launched full coverage to finance the prevention and control of AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B since 2015, which suggests women in pregnancy or maternity can receive free testing for these infectious diseases. For those that turn out to be HIV positive, they can receive free comprehensive clinical interventions, such as PMTCT.

"As long as we apply PMTCT in time, a rate of zero transmission of AIDS can eventually be achieved," the doctor said.

Apart from PMTCT, community services to follow the living conditions of AIDS affected mothers and their children have also been highlighted as a principal measure to obtain first-hand knowledge of these people's needs and difficulties.

Change is happening

Three years have passed, and Li's change of spirit is obvious as she has overcome social stigmas and personal desperation by pulling herself together and concentrating on raising her child and joining in volunteer organizations to aid people who are similarly suffering.

"What I'm looking forward to now is to live happily and exchange my love and care with women prone to the same disease," said Li.

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Source: Read the full article at China.org.cn; By Wu Jin
Also see: http://www.unaids.org.cn/en/index/index.asp
                http://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/asia-pacific/china