AIDS Patient Held Without Access to Meds in Henan

The following is a translation of this post from Wang Keqin’s blog. It concerns Tian Xi, an AIDS patient and a friend of Wang Keqin’s who we have written about before on this site.


On August 18, my friend Tian Xi, an AIDS patient from Xincai, Henan, was detained by police there for “destruction of commercial property”. He is currently being kept in the county jail. When he was detained, he wasn’t carrying his AIDS medication on his person, so his mother and family are very concerned about the danger to his life.

The basic information above comes from a fax that Tian Xi’s mother Chen Minggui sent me on August 24. In the days since then, I’ve been calling the cell phone number his mother provided [as a way to contact Tian Xi] but have not been able to get through. Because of this, as of the moment I am still not clear on the details of the situation.

Tian Xi is a 23-year-old friend of mine. In 1996, when he was nine, he suffered a concussion and needed a blood transfusion as part of his treatment. He contracted HIV from the blood transfusion and in 2004 he was officially diagnosed as having AIDS. He was also diagnosed with hepatitis B and C.

After learning of his diagnosis, Tian Xi persisted in completing college. He graduated from the Beijing City Academy last year with a degree in software engineering.

When demanding compensation for his medical bills and filing lawsuits became hopeless, Tian Xi and his family took the route of petitioning higher authorities to defend their rights. After graduating, Tian Xi has payed very close attention to the cases of all those who were similarly infected with HIV.

Tian Xi is a great kid. When he was in Beijing, he came frequently to my office. He is a volunteer defender of the rights of the weak, and would often bring petitioners from all over to my office. He put all the effort and energy a young person can into providing for and helping petitioners from all over the country.

Occasionally, I would treat everyone to a lunch or a dinner together. He always carefully used the public chopsticks to get food, and then ate it quietly off of his own plate. ((Meaning the chopsticks that touched the food everyone was eating were never chopsticks that had come near his mouth.))


For the moment, there’s no real information on exactly what Tian Xi did, if anything, to get arrested. But regardless of his crime, if he’s being held without access to treatment, the adverse affects to his health could be severe.

Even more concerning, keeping people from getting the treatment they need while they’re in police custody seems to be a fairly common practice. After all, it happened to Tian Xi at least once before, and it happened to others, too.

0 thoughts on “AIDS Patient Held Without Access to Meds in Henan”

  1. Stories like this always give me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why on earth must the people here suffer such abuse? I hope the system will offer a rare glimmer of humanity and provide him the medicine he needs soon.


  2. Great translation custer.

    Hopefully you won’t mind me being picky but for the sentence “Tian Xi is a great kid” I think it should be “Tian Xi is a very kind young man”, with the emphasis of him being kind.

    As for the content, the Chinese healthcare system clearly needs to fixed. The privatization of the healthcare industry in the 90s IMO has made the matter worse. Given the size of China I do have to wonder if there can be a workable system though.


  3. @ lolz: Thanks for your thoughts on the translation. I actually spent some time on that sentence when I was first translating, but ended up deciding that “he’s a great kid” sounds a bit more natural in English than “he’s a kind kid”, and (to me) carries the same implication, albeit with less stress on kindness specifically. Certainly, your translation is more accurate than mine, though.

    And on a related note, I encourage picky-ness from all readers! I undoubtedly make mistakes when translating (my Chinese isn’t as good as some of you probably think it is) and it’s nice to have them pointed out. I tend to remember that way. So keep at it!


  4. For some reason, I think “Tian Xi is a great kid” is a better translation here. But then, English is my third language (Mandarin second).


  5. Custer –

    Thank you for this translation. It’s truly valuable to healthcare watchers and I can only hope that the day will come when I’ll be able to translate like this.

    The level of ignorance on the subject has not changed in China for some time, but Samuel Green says all I could in this well researched piece the current situation a few months ago —->


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