Discrimination was the biggest stumbling block for China's efforts in AIDS prevention and control, said Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, Friday.
Inspecting the AIDS prevention and control work in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province in south China, Piot said many people in China, including some medical staff, discriminated against HIV carriers, due to the lack of related knowledge.
This put pressure on the patients, and some of them even did not dare to go to hospital, which created great difficulties to AIDS prevention and control in China, he said.
Yet Piot said he was satisfied with the care of AIDS patients in Guangdong when he inspected the Guangzhou Eighth People's Hospital, where doctors and nurses were in good relations with HIV carriers.
Piot called on government departments to increase cooperation in AIDS prevention and popularize AIDS-related knowledge among the general public.
He hoped the government could tighten control over migrants for the purpose of AIDS prevention, especially the high-risk group.
(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2004)