CaptionA wife cares for her dying husband. In the mid-1990s, poor peasants in Henan province sold their blood for 50 yuan a pint, enough to buy two bags of fertilizer. As a result of unsafe procedures, large numbers were infected with the HIV virus. In some villages up to 40 per cent of the inhabitants are seropositive, but for a long time have been isolated from help because the existence of Aids in China was not officially acknowledged. Even today, many villagers are uncertain whether they are infected and cannot afford a test, which costs 80 yuan. Organized help from local health authorities is underway, but many people do not have the money to go to hospital and are cared for by family and friends.