Dr Gao Yaojie: In Memory of Wang Shuping 高耀洁:纪念王淑平

Dr. Gao Yaojie yesterday sent me her essay in memory of Chinese Wang Shuping (also known as the American Shuping Wang and Sunshine Christensen of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) and asked me to share it widely. Dr. Gao Yaojie, now age 91 and living in exile in New York City, and Wang Shuping came to the Henan HIV/AIDS prevention fight in different ways. They colleagues and friends. Dr. Gao tells the story of how she came to the HIV/AIDS prevention fight in “My AIDS Prevention Journey

Dr. Gao came to the AIDS prevention fight as a recently-retired professor of gynecology in the Henan capital of Zhengzhou. Wang Shuping, thirty years younger Dr. Gao’s junior, came to the HIV/AIDS fight as a Zhoukou, Henan physician/epidemiologist who had in 1988 learned epidemiology in a three-month course given in Beijing by a Chinese-speaking U.S. Centers for Disease Control physician, Dr. Ray Yip who had come to China to teach the CDC Field Epidemiology course.

Begin translation

In Memory of Wang Shuping

by Gao Yaojie written with great sadness on September 25, 2019

The Chinese “blood plasma economy” spread AIDS like wildfire. Over one million people have been its victims in one way or another. Before the government admitted to the existence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, among the four million workers in the medical field in all of China, only four came forward to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In order of their engaging in the fight, they are Sun Yongde of Hebei Province, Wang Shuping of Henan Province, myself and Gui Xi’en of Hubei Province.

In Spring 1994, Wang Shuping, the director of Henan’s Zhoukou Region (now Zhoukou City) Hospital Clinical Testing Center led her colleagues in an epidemiological study of hepatitis and the HIV. In May and September 1995, they collected over blood samples from over 900 people in Xizhaoqiao Village in Shangshui County. Tests revealed that the HIV infection rate was over 20%. Among the 300 blood sellers tested, the infection rate was over 50%.

Wang Shuping’s Investigation Showed that 150 People in Xizhaoqiao Village were Infected with HIV. This was Unprecedented

Wang Shuping realized that the epidemic was extremely serious. She wrote a detailed report to the Zhoukou City Health Bureau. The report stated that “HIV infection has already been detected among blood plasma donors and donors of blood cells. The rate of HIV detection has been increasing. This is an urgent issue that must be addressed.”

Wang Shuping’s Report Rocked the Henan Province Health Department

The Henan Health Department sent “experts” to the Zhoukou City Hospital Clinical Testing Center to “investigate” the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They criticized her saying, “Wang Shuping’s lab is substandard”, saying that Wang Shuping issued her report without first obtaining authorization. Wang Shuping would not give in. She sent the blood samples to the National AIDS Testing Center in Beijing. The results of testing those HIV blood samples proved that Wang Shuping’s report was correct.

On January 10, 1996 Chinese Academician Zeng Yi Presented Wang Shuping’s Report to the PRC Ministry of Public Health

In November 1996, Wang Shuping was personally attacked. Among the unjust actions taken against her were firing her from her post and closing down Wang Shuping’s clinical testing center. In early 1997, Wang Shuping was forced to leave Henan Province. She went to the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine to study and to work. There she was only provided room and board. She got no salary. At home she had a six year old daughter.

In Fall 2001, Wang Shuping’s former husband came to see me. At that time I too was in great difficulty so all I could do was to ask some people to assist Wang Shuping. Later, through some other people, I got in touch with a U.S. journalist who was able to be of great help. Wang Shuping left her homeland, he family, and relatives. All by herself she went to the United States a country where she didn’t even know the language. Wang Shuping paid a high price. She lost her job, her family, and had to leave her husband and child to go far away. Below is a photo of Wang Shuping and myself at an international conference in Beijing taken on January 8, 2001.

After Wang Shuping left for the United States, she found temporary work and worked hard on her English as well. She is a very bright person and so she adjusted quickly to life in the United States. In 2009, when I made a trip to the United States, I got in touch with Wang Shuping. That year in December Wang Shuping took part in a meeting in Washington at which I was presented an award. Wang Shuping was interviewed then by the journalist Jin Zhong of the magazine Kaifang. His article on Wang Shuping was published in the first issue of 2010 of Kaifang magazine. In China, the journalist Yu Chen (Zhang Jicheng) published an article in Southern Weekender [Nanfang Zhoumo] about Wang Shuping’s contributions to the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Results of Wang Shuping’s Investigations of Several Dozen AIDS Villages in the Zhoukou Region, Henan

In 1995, Wang Shuping discovered the HIV/AIDS epidemic. If Chinese officials had paid attention and taken timely measures, the Henan HIV/AIDS epidemic could never have been so serious! In April 1996, I detected a case of AIDS while doing a physical examination. The patient was a women who had become infected with HIV by selling her blood. I reported the case of the Henan Health Department. I was severely criticized by government official. Officials were determined to cover up the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They put pressure on me and told me that I was not allowed to share this information.

Professor Gui Xi’en went to Wenlou Village and discovered that the AIDS epidemic was serious there. He used some personal relationships to get information about the AIDS situation in the village to the office of then Vice Premier Li Lanqing. The AIDS disaster was revealed in 2003, but that was eight years too late. If strong measures against HIV/AIDS had been taken from the start, just imagine how people would not have lost their lives to AIDS, and how many elderly people and orphans would not have been made to live their live bereft of their loved ones! Corrupt officials bear responsibility for the AIDS epidemic and other matters.

Wang Shuping was not on the AIDS prevention battlefront for long but she achieved a great deal. It is just astonishing what she managed to do.

History will remember people like her who accomplished so much. For example, there was Dr. Sun Yongde of the Hebei Province Epidemic Prevention Station. Dr. Sun was the first one to raise the alarm that hepatitis and HIV were spreading through the blood supply. He sent a report on the HIV/AIDS epidemic to the leaders of the Communist Party Central Committee. Thus Dr. Sun played a key role in preventing HIV/AIDS from spreading through the blood supply in Hebei Province and keeping the armies of blood sellers out of Hebei Province.

The blood plasma economy flourished in Henan Province. Wang Shuping was the first medical worker to stand up and fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic there. She suffered so much from the reprisals that she often came to talk with me. She wanted to write a book about her experiences. She was always so busy making a living, that she was never able to accomplish this task.

Finally, a composed this poem of condolence for her:

On the Death of My Comrade-in-Arms Wang Shuping

Rest in peace Wang Shuping

Strong winds whistle across the landscape

Heavy rains fly though the sky

Shuping! You were so persecuted for fighting HIV/AIDS

Your abrupt departure breaks out hearts!

Your career was heroic,

Your contributions to the fight against AIDS invaluable

Your accomplishments will shine forever!

Shuping, you died in your prime! I am so heartbroken

纪念王淑平

高耀洁痛述2019925

中国“血浆经济”发艾滋病,如火如荼,受害者早己超过百万人之多,政府未承认艾滋疫情存在之前,全国四百多万医务工作者,只有四位人士走出来做抗艾滋病,按走出来的时间计,即河北省孙永德、河南省王淑平、我本人、湖北省桂希恩等。

1994年春河南省周口地区(现为周口市)医院临床检验中心的负责医生王淑平,带领她的同事们在本地区开展肝炎和艾滋病流行病学调查。1995年5月9月,他们在周口市商水县西赵桥村共抽取900多人的血液样本,检测发现艾滋病病毒感染率20%以上,其中献血员300多人,感染率将近50%。

王淑平在河南艾滋病村西赵桥村,查出村里艾滋病病毒感染者150多人,这是首次发现

王淑平感到疫情严重,写一份详细报告递交周口市卫生局。报告称:“单采浆和输血球献血员中已有艾滋病病毒(HIV)感染,甚至酿成流行之势,成为迫在眉睫、非解决不可的问题。”当时卫生局长说,全区人民会感谢你的。

王淑平的报告惊动了河南省卫生厅

卫生厅领导派 “专家”前往周口市医院临床检验中心“调查处理”艾滋病疫情,指责“王淑平的实验室不合格”,责令王淑平的调查报告不准发表,王淑平不服,将血样送至北京全国艾滋病检测中心。这些艾滋病毒血样检测结果验证了王淑平的报告情况属实。

1996110日,中科院院士曾毅将王淑平的报告呈送卫生部

1996年11月,王淑平本人遭受打压,受到停职停薪的不公正处理,王淑平所在的临床检验中心被关闭。1997年初,王淑平被迫离开河南,到中国预防医学科学院学习和工作,那里只供应食宿、没有工资待遇,王家里还有个6岁的女儿。

2001年秋,王的前夫找我,当时我的处境也很困难,我只得转托他人帮助王淑平,后来通过他人联系到一位美国记者,他帮了大忙。王淑平离别了祖国、家乡、亲人们,只身去了人地两疏、言语不通的美国。王淑平此时付出了很高的代价,失去工作,失去家庭,夫离子散,下图是2001年1月8日在北京国际会议上与王淑平合影。

王淑平到美国后,作临时工,努力学习外语,她是一个聪明伶俐的人,很快适应美国的生活环境。2009年,本人赴美国后和王淑平取得联系,是年12月王淑平曾参加了、我在华盛顿招开的新书颁布会,她获得金钟的《开放杂志》记者的采访,全文详见2010第一期《开放杂志》报道。在国内《南方周末》记者喻尘(张继承)也发表了有关王淑平抗艾事迹的报导等。

有关王淑平在河南省周口地区数十个艾滋病村庄调查的结果

1995年,王淑平发现艾滋疫情,当时若得到有关部门的重视、并采取有效措施,河南的艾滋病疫情不会如此猖獗!我是1996年4月在一次外医院会诊中发现一例、因输血传染的艾滋病女病人,报告卫生厅,遭到政府官员的训斥,官方尽力捂盖艾滋疫情,压制我们不让揭发。桂希恩教授进入艾滋村文搂,发现艾滋病疫情严重、他通过特别关系途径把有关艾滋病材料送到当时任国务院副总理李岚清办公室,2003年才揭开了艾滋病灾难,己延误了8年多时间,如果及时抑制艾滋疫情,会有多少人不因艾滋病丧失性命,少造成多少孤老、孤儿们!贪官大发艾滋财等事件。

王淑平在抗艾战线上的时间不是太长,但工作成绩巨大,特别惊人。历史事实永世无穷,例如,河北省防疫站孙永德主任医师,他最早对血源性传播肝炎、艾滋病提出预警,他将艾滋疫情上书中央领导,对遏制河北省艾滋病的泛滥传播起到了至关重要的作用,并挽救了河北省血祸艾滋病传播泛滥的疫情,把卖血大军驱逐河南省。血浆经济在河南省大规模兴起了,王淑平在抗艾战线上是最早出击的医务工作者,她因为这个工作受了平生最大的打击与痛苦,她曾多次与我商谈,想把这项工作写成一本书,因忙于生计,未能如愿以偿。

最后我送给她一吊唁:

吊 艾滋战友王淑平

淑平啊安息吧!

狂风呼呼地吹,暴雨哗哗如飞。

淑平啊!你为抗艾事件受尽了罪!

你走得突然,令人心徘徊!

你事业的豪迈,抗艾精神可贵。

你的抗艾事绩永放光辉!

淑平啊!你壮年离世,我心伤悲!

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Retired now, translated Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and studying some things. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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11 Responses to Dr Gao Yaojie: In Memory of Wang Shuping 高耀洁:纪念王淑平

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