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Wan Yanhai

Leading Chinese HIV/AIDS activist

Asia-Pacific and South Asia

Wan Yanhai is a prominent Chinese activist known for his outspoken approach to HIV/AIDS education and his criticism of the government’s response and policies toward the disease. In 1994, Wan was fired from his post as a public health official for setting up the first HIV/AIDS telephone hotline in China. Wan is the director of China’s leading HIV/AIDS awareness group, the;Aizhixing Institute of Health Education, which promotes the rights of HIV/AIDS patients and offers assistance to patients diagnosed with HIV who contracted the virus in government hospitals. Wan was arrested in 2006 for organizing a public forum on HIV/AIDS, and the Aizhixing Institute has faced intense official scrutiny. Wan was forced to flee China with his family to escape political persecution for his advocacy efforts.