The China children’s summer camp kicked off it’s annual activities this year in Liangshan, an autonomous prefecture in the south of the Chinese province of Sichuan. Sichuan is one of the largest provinces in China, it is also one of the most affected by HIV which is why this camp is so important. The camp brings together children who are living with HIV and runs under the theme “love in the sunshine”. At the camp the children are encouraged to participate in a wide range of activities in an environment they feel safe in, where they won’t be judged and where they will be respected by the other children and staff.
The event was one of a series of activities the Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé was invited to participate in by the First Lady of China as part of UNAIDS and China’s strengthened cooperation and joint commitment for a robust response to HIV both in China and around the world.
One such activity was a visit to the Xichang University. Universities are playing a key role in the response to HIV. Xichang University for example, is encouraging students to actively engage in HIV prevention efforts in the community. During the visit the group, which included the Chinese Vice Minister of Health, joined in Red Ribbon Youth activities and spoke to students about their experiences as HIV prevention volunteers going out into villages to raise awareness of HIV prevention.
Mr. Sidibé also met with Governor of Sichuan Province Yin Li in Chengdu, who governs over the 80 million strong population who live in the Province. He said that in recent years, HIV prevention and control efforts in Sichuan have made positive progress, a significant step forwards for a province which is home to more people than France or the United Kingdom. He also said that he would like Sichuan to further strengthen its cooperation with UNAIDS to explore more effective ways of stopping HIV and ensuring access to treatment.
Before arriving in Liangshan, the Executive Director of UNAIDS attended serval important meetings in Beijing including a meeting with the Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan who commended UNAIDS on the robust response to HIV. She said that China stood ready to work together with UNAIDS on HIV prevention and treatment efforts to improve the health and well-being of people around the world.
Mr Sidibé also met with the Chinese National Drug Administration and congratulated the Chinese government for its achievements in drug regulatory reform. China has extensive pharmaceutical production capacity and an important drug regulatory system. He stressed that there are great opportunities for China and Africa cooperation in trade, technology transfer and local production of medicines.
Also in Beijing, Mr. Sidibé joined the community of people living with HIV for a meaningful discussion on the implementation of 90-90-90 in China. He called for more efforts to make HIV testing and immediate treatment become a reality everywhere and to ensure the availability and accessibility of simplified, high quality drug regimens.
The Joint UN team in China is working hand in hand with the Chinese government, partners and communities to achieve "zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths." On 20 June 2018 the Joint UN team launched its Joint Work Plan on AIDS in China further strengthen efforts to end AIDS in China.