Beijing, 11 November 2013 - Over 200 delegates representing the Chinese government, the United Nations, the Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other international development partners met this Monday in Beijing to discuss the future of international cooperation on HIV in China. The meeting was organised with the cooperation of China’s National Centre for AIDS/STD Prevention and Control, the UN and other international cooperation partners including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US CDC-GAP Programme, and others.
The meeting, which took place in Beijing’s Qianmen Jianguo Hotel, was opened by Dr. Ren Minghui, Director of the Division of International Cooperation, National Health and Family Planning Commission. In his opening address, Dr. Ren recognised the important contributions which international cooperation programmes have made to China’s response to HIV, both in terms of funding, but also in areas including information and experience sharing, capacity building, advocacy and technical support, among others. Dr. Ren noted that international cooperation on HIV is in a transition phase, but that China still faces important challenges in its response to HIV, and still needs support from international partners.
In recent years, China achieved remarkable progress in promoting timely uptake of new approaches, including for example methadone maintenance treatment, leading to stabilization or reduction in the number of new infections among populations such as people who inject drugs.
Dr. Hedia Belhadj, UNAIDS China Country Coordinator ai. outlined the contributions international cooperation programmes have brought to China. “Of course, it is the country that took the lead. International cooperation has brought funding to China, but more importantly, it has brought new approaches, new technologies and new ways of thinking,” said Dr. Belhadj. She stressed that the shifting patterns of international cooperation with China on HIV will bring challenges, but also opportunities.
As well as continuing to provide strategic support to China’s domestic response, meeting participants highlighted that international cooperation programmes will play an important role in the future in supporting China to share its own best practices and experiences with other developing countries, promoting China’s engagement in global health cooperation efforts while strengthening its own national response.
Discussions and presentations continued through the day, and included updates from several Chinese provinces, which focussed on the strong contributions which international cooperation programmes have made to China’s response to HIV.