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International News

Pen Pal Program Helps Chinese Youths Affected by AIDS

November 19, 2013

This article was reported by the Christian Science Monitor.

The Christian Science Monitor recently described the impact of the China AIDS Fund's (CAF) programs for HIV-infected children in China's Henan Province and their young U.S. pen pals. CAF aimed to prevent HIV's spread in China, to increase U.S. public awareness of HIV among China's youth, and to promote self-determination and education for HIV-infected Chinese youth.

Dr. Vincent Wang, president of CAF's International Pen Pal program, reported that Henan Province became China's HIV epidemic epicenter in the 1990s due to the Chinese government's blood donation practices. Wang estimated that China had 4 million HIV-infected residents. Children, some of whom contracted HIV at birth, were especially vulnerable. Some parents died of AIDS and surviving children lived in extreme poverty or with distant relatives; many lacked emotional support. Because rural Henan villages were uneducated about HIV and AIDS, residents discriminated against the children, according to Shari Cai, former CAF board member.

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See Also
Chinese HIV/AIDS Organizations
More News on HIV/AIDS in China

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