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Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 12:57 GMT
China holds first HIV/Aids conference

China has opened its first national conference on Aids and HIV amid accusations of official discrimination against people with Aids.

A group of seven people with Aids who travelled from Dongguan village in the central province of Henan to the capital, Beijing, told the BBC they'd been excluded from the conference.

A member of the group Zhao Yong said it was a great pity they had not been allowed to attend the meeting.

They were infected by blood banks that had illegally recycled donated blood - it is estimated that 65% of residents in certain central Chinese villages have been infected in this way.

The executive director of the United Nations Aids programme, Peter Piot, told the BBC the conference was a clear signal from the Chinese authorities that there would be more openness in dealing with Aids.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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