Li Keqiang: A man who prioritizes people’s concerns

Li Keqiang (left) shakes hands with an HIV carrier when he inspects AIDS prevention and treatment work in Beijing on November 18, 2011.

Battle against HIV/AIDS

Yet more complicated challenges followed.

After more than 10 years of latency, HIV broke out in a number of places in Henan, aggravating the province's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

Li visited the worst-hit villages to see patients, surveying the difficulties they faced and staying on top of the situation. Gao Yaojie, a retired doctor and AIDS activist, was invited to his office to report on the situation.

When he served as Party chief of the province in 2002, Li immediately put HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment at the top of the agenda.

In Henan, he oversaw the country' s first provincial census on HIV/AIDS.A total of 38 hard-hit villages received assistance directly from local government.

To ensure that HIV and AIDS patients could live decent lives, he instituted a policy that provided them shelter, food, clothing and basic medical insurance. Those who contracted the deadly disease from selling blood on the black market could receive free treatment, free physical exams and free services to control maternal-infant transmission of the virus. Orphans, as well as children of those with HIV/AIDS, could go to school free of charge.

By 2004, the HIV outbreak had been contained. Yin Yin Nwe, then representative of the United Nations Children's Fund for China, said Henan is a model both for China and the world and its experience is worth being popularized.
In a congratulatory letter sent to Li on his re-election as member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in November this year, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe recognized the progress China has achieved in AIDS prevention and thanked Li for his leadership in this regard.


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