Scientist Who Exposed Chinese SARS Cover-up Released From Jail, Plans To Work on Country’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic
A Chinese doctor known for exposing a government cover-up of the country's SARS epidemic has been released from custody and says he plans to work to fight China's AIDS epidemic, the Toronto Star reports (Regg Cohn, Toronto Star, 7/21). Jiang Yanyong, who in 2003 wrote a letter to the government-controlled media exposing the SARS epidemic, had been detained for 49 days in connection with another letter he sent to the government denouncing the 1989 military assault against student-led protests in Tiananmen Square. Although the government has said that Jiang's case is not closed, they will allow him to resume giving medical advice to his patients, a person close to Jiang's family said, according to the Washington Post (Pan, Washington Post, 7/21). Jiang has indicated that he now plans to work to fight HIV/AIDS in the country (Toronto Star, 7/21). "When I get out, the next thing I will direct my energies to is the problem of AIDS," Jiang last week wrote in a letter to his wife (Kahn, New York Times, 7/21). The Chinese government estimates that there are 840,000 HIV-positive people in the country and that 80,000 people have AIDS; however, some experts believe that those figures are an underestimate. The United Nations estimates that there are at least one million HIV-positive people in China (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/13).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.