Sept. 25, 2014
The village where Kang lives is as far removed as one could possibly get from New York, where I now live. It is located outside of Shangcai, a small town of smelly hotels and dirty restaurants, which is itself an hour-long bus ride away from Zhumadian, a fourth-tier city in Henan Province. The birthplace of Chinese civilization and home of the renowned Shaolin Temple, Henan is now one of China’s poorest provinces. In the past two decades, its main claim to fame has been the high concentration of so-called “AIDS villages” near Shangcai devastated by an HIV outbreak in the 1990s.