"I Will Fight to My Last Breath"
Barriers to AIDS Treatment
For Children in China

Learning about AIDS at a rural Yunnan elementary school

"My mother and father have always given me faith. They tell me not to look down on
myself. They say that I should fight to my last breath, and that they will treat my
illness until their last penny is gone."  -- Xiao Liu, 1996-2009

Asia Catalyst announces the launch of a new report on access to treatment for children with HIV/AIDS, I Will Fight to My Last Breath: Barriers to AIDS Treatment For Children in China. Thousands of kids are living with HIV/AIDS in China, some as a result of tainted hospital blood transfusions. Last summer, two Asia Catalyst researchers conducted in-depth, on-the-ground research, in Yunnan Province, Beijing, and northeast China. They talked to children, their families, doctors, and policy experts, in order to document the many obstacles children still face in obtaining life-saving medicines. These obstacles include a shortage of adequately-trained doctors, debilitating side effects, stigma and discrimination, and the lack of access to hospitals from remote rural villages.

Download I Will Fight to My Last Breath: Barriers to AIDS Treatment For Children in China

Full Report (pdf): English or 中 文.
Executive Summary(pdf)
Supplement: Mapping AIDS Organizations in China (pdf):  

What You Can Do

Make a donation

Your donation to Asia Catalyst directly benefits a grassroots organization helping children living with HIV/AIDS secure vital treatment in China.

Support the use of Compulsory Licenses

Exercising the right to issue compulsory licenses to allow domestic manufacturing of second line drugs is a necessary step to ensuring that children in China can receive adequate treatment. Asia Catalyst's report urges the new U.S. Trade Representative not to use punitive measures against countries that exercise their right to issue compulsory licenses for life-saving medications. Please call or write to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to urge him not to penalize countries for invoking their rights under WTO regulations, and sign our petition demanding that this policy be changed.

The Story of Xiao Liu

While in Beijing last summer, an Asia Catalyst researcher met Xiao Liu, a 13 year old boy living with AIDS. On January 2, 2009, after a long and brave struggle by both him and his family, Xiao Liu died of heart failure. Read more about his story.

Panel discussion at NYU School of Law 

Asia Catalyst hosted a panel at NYU School of Law on access to AIDS treatment for children in China entitled "AIDS Treatment for Children in China: A Human Rights Perspective" on  April 28th .

Panelists included Asia Catalyst's executive director Meg Davis, lead researcher and report author Lauren BurkeKen Legins of UNICEF, and Joanne Csete of the Mailman School of Health at Columbia University. Our moderator was Jerome A. Cohen of NYU School of Law, a leading  expert on rule of law in China. Video of the event is available here.

Contact Us

For more information, interview requests or press inquiries, please email info@asiacatalyst.org or call 212. 260. 6440.

Words and Images from the Children

"My leg doesn’t feel like itself, my arm won’t move on its own. I get a fever and I become light-headed, I get headaches, my neck is sore and heavy, I am in pain in every inch of my body, there is not a single place that feels OK."

-Xing Lu, HIV positive girl in Henan, describing how she feels after taking her medicine

Child's Drawing

"My grandmother told me. At that time, I was in a lot of terrible pain, when she told me I had this sickness. I really didn’t know what to say. I had heard that once you were infected with this illness, if you didn’t take medication you would pass on, you would die… I was really afraid."

-Mei Li, HIV positive girl in Yunnan on learning that she was HIV positive

Child's Drawing

"From the time I became ill until now, I have already spent more than 30,000 RMB  earned through my parents' hard work. Now, aside from food, we don’t have any money for anything else."

-Xiao Liu, HIV positive boy from Henan

Child's Drawing

"To study well, take my medicine well, that’s enough."
-Qing Bao, HIV positive girl in Yunnan, describing her hopes for herself