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Old Politics, New Disease Clash in China

©1999 Myrna WatanabeMeeting attendees at the Great Wall A 30-yuan (about $3.60) card will admit you to the Badaling entrance of China's Great Wall. But you don't just swipe it through a slot as you might at a gasoline pump or cash machine. You place the card in the slot of the magnetic strip reader and a real, live attendant will retrieve the card and hand it back to you. This is the conundrum that is China: It is using cutting-edge technologies but clinging to the old ways. This, according

Myrna Watanabe

©1999 Myrna Watanabe

Meeting attendees at the Great Wall
A 30-yuan (about $3.60) card will admit you to the Badaling entrance of China's Great Wall. But you don't just swipe it through a slot as you might at a gasoline pump or cash machine. You place the card in the slot of the magnetic strip reader and a real, live attendant will retrieve the card and hand it back to you.

This is the conundrum that is China: It is using cutting-edge technologies but clinging to the old ways. This, according to some, is the way China is facing its growing HIV epidemic, now estimated to have infected 400,000 people in this country of 1.3 billion.

The bumpy interface between the old and new Chinas was evident--even in mild ways--at China's first International AIDS Vaccine Workshop, held in Beijing with a subsequent field trip to Yunnan Province, Nov. 18-23, 1999....

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