By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com October 23 2002 12:00 AM ET
Wan Yanhai, a Chinese AIDS activist who was held by Chinese authorities for nearly a month for allegedly revealing state secrets about China's AIDS epidemic, announced October 17 that he has successfully registered his HIV/AIDS service organization as a nongovernmental agency with the Chinese government, Agence France-Presse reports. The Beijing AIDS Action Health Education Institute, formerly known as the AIDS Action Project, will work to implement HIV prevention and AIDS treatment programs throughout China. Registering the group with the government was a key step, because all unregistered organizations in China are deemed illegal and subject to government closure.
Wan said the group will continue to "publicize the problems of AIDS sufferers," including posting information online, which is what prompted Chinese officials to detain him in September. Wan had posted on the Internet government statistics about the AIDS epidemic in Henan province, where unsafe blood donation and collection practices in the 1980s and 1990s may have resulted in hundreds of thousands of HIV infections.