An Indian-based human rights group says a Tibetan HIV/AIDS activist disappeared after Chinese police detained him in Lhasa more than six months ago.
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Thursday that Chinese police arbitrarily detained Wangdue (who uses only one name) on March 14th -- the same day that riots rocked the Tibetan capital. The rights group said Wangdue's family has been unable to determine his whereabouts or condition.
The group said Wangdue had been working with foreign nongovernmental organizations to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Tibet. Chinese authorities imprisoned Wangdue for about six years for his involvement in Tibetan independence protests in 1989.
Tibet's official HIV infection rate remains low relative to Chinese provinces to the west. But observers have warned of the dangers posed by increasing immigration and Tibet's booming commercial sex industry.
The United Nations AIDS program says there were about 700-thousand people living with HIV in China in 2007.
Beijing's Renmin University and U.N. AIDS released a survey last month that showed low levels of awareness about how to prevent HIV infections in China, as well as a high AIDS-related stigma.