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Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 19:30

The Blood of China

Pierre Haski

Journalist

Embassy of the Czech Republic
Jianguomenwai 2 Ritan Lu

At the beginning of the 1990’s, health authorities in Henan province urged the poorest peasants to sell their blood and gain a supplementary income. The blood collection was badly organized and in poor conditions. By 1995, the HIV virus had been discovered in the network and Beijing authorities stopped this method of collecting blood. However, by then, thousands of peasants had been contaminated. In May 2001, journalist Pierre Haski went to Henan province to interview the peasants and report their stories. This year, he published a book about his findings and the course of this epidemic in China. In this lecture to BIS, Pierre Haski will talk about his findings, how the Chinese government is managing the HIV issues, and how the peasants of Henan are trying to survive.

Pierre Haski is the Beijing-based journalist for the French newspaper "Liberation” and has lived in China for five years. Before this, he was the AFP (Associated Press) journalist in Johannesburg and the "Liberation" correspondent in Jerusalem. He has published books on apartheid and on Israel politicians. In 2002, he wrote a book, “The Diary of Ma Yan”, about a young Ningxia girl and her struggle to get an education. This book became a best seller and is now published in 16 languages. Social and educational issues are his favorite topics.