Wed, Feb 14, 2007 - Page 5 News List

AIDS activist gets award -- at home


China has praised a prominent AIDS activist days after the woman was confined to her home, a move fellow activists said was aimed at preventing her from accepting an award in the US.

In a Lunar New Year visit to Gao Yaojie's (高耀潔) home on Monday, Chinese Communist Party Deputy Secretary Chen Quanguo (陳全國) extolled the doctor's "long-standing contributions to our province's education, health and AIDS prevention work," the Web site of the party's official People's Daily reported.

The 80-year-old Gao was shown in a photo accepting a parcel from Chen, while other provincial leaders clapped and smiled.

Last week, Gao was blocked from leaving her home by plainclothes police, apparently to prevent her from applying for a US visa, her family and fellow AIDS activists said. She is to be honored next month by Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Although never charged with any crime, Gao has been detained under similar circumstances at least twice before as a result of her work exposing corrupt blood-selling schemes that infected thousands with HIV.

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