Michel Sidibé meets with Li Keqiang, Vice Premiere of China
27 November 2009
Mr Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, met with Vice Premiere of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang in Beijing during his week long visit to the country.
"China is still confronted with a severe task of HIV prevention and treatment, although the spread of the epidemic has slowed down thanks to the joint efforts of government, professionals and the public," Li said at the meeting.
Right now there is great scope to save lives by recognizing and meeting the unique needs of those at high risk.
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director
Mr Sidibé said the vice premier had "showed the country's commitment to this cause," but the UNAIDS head also noted that China faces a major challenge in scaling up HIV prevention. “Right now there is great scope to save lives by recognizing and meeting the unique needs of those at high risk,” said Mr Sidibé.
In China, between 560,000 to 920,000 people are living with HIV and 97,000 to 112,000 AIDS patients at the end of 2009, according to estimates by the Ministry of Health and UNAIDS.
During the meeting, Vice Premier Mr Li also highlighted the country's efforts to step up AIDS awareness education among the public and mobilize social forces in disease prevention and control in a bid to minimize the AIDS impact
He pledged China's commitment to stronger international cooperation, saying the country will expand information and technology exchanges, share experience in prevention and treatment, shoulder international obligations and contribute to the health and security of human.
China now has 276 AIDS control programs jointly operated with more than 40 foreign governments or international organizations, involving 3.58 billion yuan in fund.