Case #1785.0

Confronting HIV/AIDS in Pingxiang, China (A)

Publication Date: March 21, 2006
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When the first local cases of HIV were detected in 1996 among injection drug users in Pingxiang, a major transportation hub in southern Guangxi province on China's border with Vietnam, officials decided to keep the finding secret, fearful of compromising economic development. The following year, when Dr. Li was named head of the Pingxiang health department, he became deeply troubled by the still-hidden incidence of HIV/AIDS, fearing that Pingxiang could easily become a hub for the spread of the disease through its own population and beyond. Li felt that an effective response to HIV/AIDS could only be started if the many city agencies with useful resources or shared authority cooperated. But how could he get other departments to engage what they considered a pure health issue, limited to very specific risk groups, especially since they could not expect any extra budget?

Learning Objective:
This case is designed to support a discussion of management in the face of a rapidly spread global health crisis.

Other Details

Case Author:
Nicole Szlezak
Faculty Lead:
Arnold Howitt
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Asia, China
Funding Source:
Tsinghua University, Center for Business and Government, John F. Kennedy SchoolÂ’s Student Internship Fund, Center for International Development, and Taubman Center for State and Local Government