Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) stopped working in China in 2014.
Although the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in China is low, people living with the disease face difficulties accessing the necessary care, and there is still widespread discrimination and stigma. China initiated the ‘Four Frees and One Care’ policy in December 2003, providing HIV counselling and testing, antiretroviral treatment, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and schooling for children orphaned by AIDS, all free of charge. However, many people with the disease have not benefited from these measures.
A Chinese NGO, Aids Care China (ACC), is developing high-quality care and treatment through private clinics, hoping to show the impact this can have on people’s health and influence reforms that will make care more widely available. In October 2011, at the request of ACC, MSF started supporting a clinic near the border with Myanmar, in Jiegao, Yunnan province, where there are high numbers of Chinese and Burmese injecting drug users with HIV or HIV–TB and HIV–hepatitis C co-infection. In September 2013, an MSF team began providing technical assistance to ACC to improve the clinical management of HIV/AIDS patients. The aim was to demonstrate that a new model of comprehensive care, incorporating patient counselling, could deliver better treatment outcomes. MSF also supported the development of ACC by reinforcing its medical expertise in HIV/AIDS management. This collaboration came to an end in April 2014 due to a number of reasons, including changes in ACC’s objectives and the fact that the health ministry started treating HIV patients suffering from hepatitis C.
No. staff in 2014: 2 | Expenditure: €0.2 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1989 | msf.org/china