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Volunteers spread AIDS awareness

Volunteers spread AIDS awareness

Updated: 2012-04-12 20:59


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BEIJING - More than 4,000 volunteers from over 200 colleges in China will go to factories, enterprises and communities to spread HIV/AIDS prevention information and offer "Red Ribbon health packages" to migrant workers across the nation, an official said Thursday.

According to the China Red Ribbon Foundation, one of the organizers of the health package program, the packages, which include gloves, towels, condoms, playing cards with HIV/AIDS information, posters, cups and notebooks, will be distributed to migrant workers by college volunteers at the end of April.

"Although the packages are small and cost just 30 yuan ($4.8), they are important for raising migrant workers' awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention," said Xie Jingrong, vice president of the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce and the chairman of the China Red Ribbon Foundation.

China has achieved a lot after 30 years of reform and opening-up, and migrant workers have made great contributions to the country's development. However, a lack of education and limited social knowledge has left migrant workers with little HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge, said Xie.

Statistics from China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security show that the number of migrant workers has reached 240 billion. In 2010, statistics from the Health Ministry showed that 23.5 percent of China's HIV/AIDS carriers belong to the floating population, up from 19.5 percent in 2008.

In 2011, 100,000 health packages had been dispatched to migrant workers in 16 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. And more than 4,000 college volunteers will distribute 200,000 packages to migrant workers this year, said Ye Dawei, deputy secretary general of the China Red Ribbon Foundation.

"It's not just giving them a package. We will teach them HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge, explain obscure specialized terms and discuss some sensitive topics," said Zhang Haoyi, a junior at Beijing Bailie University, who has participated in the activity at least eight times since it was launched in February 2011.

Zhang said he and other volunteers go to factories and enterprises to conduct HIV/AIDS awareness activities on weekends and during summer or winter holidays.

"Nail clippers, towels and cups are useful, and the packages are popular with us and at the same time we can learn some HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge," said Sun Heng, a migrant worker representative.