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Collaboration at the Heart of Our HIV/AIDS Response in China

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Editor’s note: World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1, serves as a reminder that while significant progress has been made in the global battle against HIV/AIDS, there is still much more to be done and we must recommit to the goal of Getting to Zero. Johnson & Johnson, driven by our purpose of caring, remains committed to the prevention, detection, education and treatment of HIV/AIDS. This blog post is the fourth in a series intended to provide a glimpse of these efforts and some of the individuals leading them.

At Janssen we like to say that we collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. This commitment is at the heart of how we innovate. It’s also entrenched in the work we do to strengthen health systems and expand access to treatment and care.

Our response to HIV/AIDS in China is a good illustration of this commitment. Since first introducing one of our HIV medicines in 2008, we have worked hard to build meaningful partnerships that impact the lives of patients and their families in China.

This work is particularly important for us at Xian Janssen as statistics released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) showed that the number of people living with HIV increased year on year from 2007 to 2011. In the most recent China AIDS Response Progress Report, issued by the China Ministry of Health in March 2012, estimates showed that by the end of 2011, a total of 780,000 people were living with HIV in China.

There were approximately 48,000 new infections in 2011. The report was a reminder of the ongoing challenges we face in controlling the spread of this virus, and led us to review what more we could be doing to strengthen the national HIV response. Part of that response was the decision to launch an HIV medicines donation program in collaboration with the China CDC for one of our HIV medicines. Through our donation program we have made the treatment available to hundreds of patients in need across the country.

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Launch Ceremony for “Red Ribbon Health Ambassador Campus Tour”: Chinese First Lady Liyuan PENG, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV and senior representatives from the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League, the Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control, and Peking University. Photo courtesy of the China Health Education Center.

We are also committed to supporting ongoing awareness-raising efforts and on World AIDS Day this year we will be collaborating with the China Health Education Center, the Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control and other important organizations to launch the “Red Ribbon Health Ambassador’s Campus Tour”, a new initiative aimed at calling the public’s attention, especially young students, to the ongoing risks of HIV infection.

At the 2014 National Conference on HIV/AIDS earlier this year we were delighted to be recognized by the general secretary of the meeting and other medical experts for our role in bringing medicines to people living with HIV/AIDS in China. The conference, which was attended by global leaders, including China’s First Lady and World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, Peng Liyuan, and Professor Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of the HIV virus, reinforced the shared commitment of all those in attendance to work together in collaboration to help improve the lives of patients and families affected by the disease, and to prevent new infections.

On Dec. 1 the world reflected on the fact that while significant progress has been made in the global battle against HIV/AIDS, there is still much more to be done if we are to ‘Get to zero.’ Progress has certainly been made in China, but there is also much more action needed and we remain resolutely committed to collaborating with all stakeholders on the prevention, detection, education and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Cesar Rodriguez is President of Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical Limited, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Before moving to Beijing, late last year, Cesar was the Managing Director of Janssen UK-Ireland. He was also a member of the European Leadership team of Janssen EMEA. Cesar joined Janssen Spain in 1994 and prior to his position in the UK, he held different senior responsibilities in a variety of locations.

About the work Johnson & Johnson is doing to prevent and combat HIV/AIDS:

As a transformational medical innovator, Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, is committed to developing medicines and comprehensive solutions against HIV/AIDS. Through the Janssen Global Public Health HIV Medicines Access and Partnerships Program our efforts to ensure affordable and sustainable access to our HIV medicines in least developed countries are working. During the course of 2014 we launched a collaborative commitment, New Horizons Advancing Pediatric HIV Treatment, to build awareness and incite action around the unmet needs of HIV treatment-experienced children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition we have more than 100 philanthropic programs in more than 50 least developed countries that attempt to address the needs of those affected by HIV/AIDS.

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