Chinese leaders have realised the importance of public health to future prosperity, and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS have improved following the recent SARS outbreaks. But most Chinese people still do not know or care about the disease.
So says leading US-based HIV researcher David Ho in an interview with IAVI Report. Ho praises the government's commitment to biomedical research, citing the creation of new institutions and attraction of Chinese scientists back from overseas, but says there is still very little basic HIV research conducted in China.
China has a tremendous capacity for making vaccines and production of cheap generic HIV drugs is set to increase. But "the most important thing" is considerably greater public education and outreach if predicted increases in HIV infections are to be avoided, Ho says.