HIV-positive Families in Central China

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In the early 1990s, hundreds of thousands of peasants in central China – in particular, the provinces of Henan, Anhui and Hubei – contracted HIV when they sold blood to alleviate their poverty, earning between $4 and $5 per pint. Many blood collecting stations used highly risky procedures, such as reusing needles without sterilization and plasma pooling among donors of the same blood type. As farmers returned to donate blood again and again, the number of those infected swelled, resulting in infection rates as high as 60% in some villages. The children born from parents who contracted HIV from paid plasma donation are among the most vulnerable victims of this regrettable practice.

PATS currently supports 45 HIV-positive children who were infected by parents who contracted HIV through paid plasma donation. 40 currently reside in Fuyang, Funan or Lixin county in Anhui Province, while 5 children live in Xin Xiang, Henan Province. Many additional children in these areas are waiting to join the program.