Chinese Doctor and AIDS Activist Gao Yaojie Dies at 96 in New York

Dr. Gao Yaojie passed away on 12/10/2023 in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 96. Born in 1927 in Shandong’s Cao County, she graduated from the Medical School of Henan University. She served as a professor at Henan Traditional Chinese Medicine College and chief physician at the First Affiliated Hospital. Despite facing numerous obstacles, she exposed the truth behind the widespread AIDS epidemic in the central plains due to blood donation, earning her the title of “China’s first grassroots AIDS prevention advocate.” In August 2009, she left for the United States. As a visiting scholar at Columbia University, she was recognized by Time magazine as an “Asian Hero” and received the Global Women’s Leadership Award, the “Ramón Magsaysay Award for Public Service” akin to the Asian Nobel Prize, and the United Nations AIDS Award.

In 2007, during our interview with Dr. Gao at the University of Minnesota, it was unbelievable that in her 80s, she was lively, humorous, and faced everything (injustice/suppression/hardship) with composure. At that time, there was no WeChat (the popular social media at presence in China); she showed us her blog, like a master (her emails were all blocked, and the blog was her only way of connecting with the outside world), truly admirable! Here is the link for our original article: 


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