April 16, 2012
Upwards of 4,000 volunteers from more than 200 Chinese colleges will visit factories, businesses, and neighborhoods to disseminate HIV/AIDS prevention information and 200,000 Red Ribbon health packages to migrant workers, an official announced Thursday.
The China Red Ribbon Foundation, one organizer of the program, said the package contains gloves, towels, condoms, playing cards with HIV/AIDS information, posters, cups, and notebooks. "Although the packages are small and cost just 30 yuan (US $4.80), they are important for raising migrant workers' awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention," said Xie Jingrong, CRRF chair and vice president of the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce.
Xie noted that migrant workers' lack of education and limited social knowledge hampers their access to HIV/AIDS prevention information. According to data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China has 240 million migrant workers. And 2010 figures from China's Health Ministry indicate 23.5 percent of those with HIV/AIDS are among China's transient population -- up from 19.5 percent in 2008.
"It's not just giving them a package," said Beijing Bailie University junior Zhang Haoyi. "We will teach them HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge, explain obscure specialized terms, and discuss some sensitive topics." Zhang has volunteered eight times since the program's February 2011 launch.
"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 migrant worker representative Sun Heng.