Gao Yaojie is known as China's most outspoken AIDS campaigner and the first person to promote AIDS awareness in rural regions. A retired professor from the Henan Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yaojie began to promote AIDS awareness when she saw the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS was having in her province of Henan. She has defied the government many times so that she may spread information on how to prevent HIV/AIDS. Yaojie uses her own pension money to publish flyers, pamphlets and books about HIV/AIDS which she then distributes to both health professionals and all other local community members. She also uses her own money to provide medication for person who are infected but unable to afford medication. Yaojie has edited a book entitled "The Prevention of AIDS/Venereal Disease" and she has done a television program on HIV prevention. In addition to giving lectures and doing tours, she carried out a survey to assess the level of knowledge that members of her community have on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and, to her dismay, discovered that only fifteen percent of those who took the survey had a solid understanding of the ways in which one could prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. She also began to focus some of their efforts on solving issues that impact children who are orphaned due to losing their parents to AIDS. Yaojie participated in a conference at Qinghua University in Beijing called "Seminar on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS."
Yaojie was awarded the Jonathan Mann Award for her work, but was denied a passport to attend the ceremony, so she was unable to accept the award in person. She received thirty thousand dollars (USD) with the award and used the money to further her awareness-raising efforts. In 1999, she was declared a model person by the Ministry of Education for the care and concern she showed for the next generation. In 2003, Yaojie womn the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay Award for public services. She also received a "Touching China" award from the China Central Television station for her work. Yaojie was nominated as one of one thousand women worldwide to receive the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her dedication to providing treatment and prevention education.
Information on HIV/AIDS in China, end of 2003
Adult* HIV prevalence rate:
Adults living with HIV: 830,000
Adults and children living with HIV: 840,000
Women Living with HIV: 190,000
AIDS deaths (adults and children): 44,000
*Adult statistics for persons 15-49 years old
**statistics from deaths that occurred in 2003
"As a doctor, I can only treat at most dozens of patients a day - but as an activist of AIDS prevention, every day I can educate at least hundreds of people so as to save even more lives."
This website contains an autobiographical piece about Yaojie Gao's advocacy and activism on issues related to HIV/AIDS.
The official website announcing the one thousand women worldwide that were nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.