Published: Sunday 15 July 2001

The Chinese health ministry will enforce a ban on the system of donating blood for money. This decision comes following a report about more than 80 per cent residents of the Donghu village in Henan province being affected by the hiv virus. The villagers blame the government-owned blood banks for the situation. They say that the banks did not screen patients for hiv before collecting blood. Moreover, all the donated blood was then mixed before extracting red blood cells that were injected back into the donors to prevent anaemia. Due to this, even unaffected donors contracted the virus. More than a million people have contracted hiv in this manner. The donors were paid well and, therefore, the practice became common leading to the large-scale spread of the disease. The practice came to an end after the villagers correlated it to falling sick. Official reports say that there are around 22,500 aids patients in the country. Private agencies, however, estimate the numbers to be around 600,000.

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