Dr Yaojie is a gynecologist, academic and AIDS activist.
In the 1990s in Henan province there was the ‘Bloodhead’ scandal; businessmen and government officials set up a number of blood donation clinics; the blood was not screened for diseases, needles were reused – blood of the same type was even mixed together. This resulted in an HIV outbreak. Yaojie traveled to the province to help inform people about the out break and to treat them. The government launched a massive cover up; eventually there was a leak and they were forced to admit 30 – 50 000 people had been infected.
Yaojie has produced books and newsletters about prevention of HIV and AIDS and treatments for the disease. Her book ‘Prevention of AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ made her a target of threats and harassment.
She has received a number of awards; though was unable to collect them in person as she was not allowed to leave China. In 2007 Vital Voices gave her the Global Leadership Award; the Chinese government said that she was ‘unfit’ to travel.
She now lives in exile in the US.