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AIDS orphans enjoy summer camp in Beijing
By Tong Haihua (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-11 01:58

Seventy-two AIDS orphans from 12 counties in Jilin, Henan, Sichuan, Shanxi and Yunnan provinces Tuesday started a six-day summer camp called "Together We Grow Up."

The children, whose parents have all died from AIDS-related illnesses, will visit sites like the Summer Palace in Beijing.

They will also meet Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut in space.

A teacher leads AIDS orphans who are attending a six-day summer camp called "Together We Grow Up" to visit Tian'anmen Square in Beijing Tuesday. The event, which was organized by the China Youth Concern Commission, aims to arouse public awareness about the plight of AIDS orphans. [newsphoto]

The aim of the camp is to arouse public awareness about the plight of AIDS orphans, said sources with the China Work Committee for the Care of Next Generation.

These particular orphans have had a lot of help from others, but their carers say it is still not enough.

These children said they had received support from society, but had no idea how they were going to survive in the future.

The Chinese Government is considering awarding hand-outs to families who adopt AIDS orphans, sources with CCTV said Tuesday.

Related departments are considering drafting a policy on compensation, said Li Qimin, an official with China Work Committee for the Care of Next Generation.

The rise in the number of AIDS patients means the number of orphans will reach some 260,000 in China by 2010, said experts from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Official statistics show China has an estimated 840,000 HIV carriers and about 80,000 AIDS patients.

It is estimated that living and treatment costs for child victims will approach 1 billion yuan (US$ 96 million) by 2010.

There is still no special funding to help AIDS orphans in China.

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