UN Organs Train Beijing Olympic Volunteers in AIDS Awareness
June 16, 2008
About 5,500 volunteers for the Beijing Olympic Games have received training about HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and how to avoid disease-related discrimination, UNAIDS recently announced. People with HIV/AIDS were among the trainers. In addition, about 100,000 volunteers for the Olympic and Paralympic games received a basic information package about the same issues.
"Many young people do not have the right information on AIDS -- fueling false fears, stigma, and discrimination. This is bad in itself and also hampers HIV prevention work," said Bernhard Schwartlander, the UNAIDS country coordinator in China. "Engaging some of China's most capable young people and making them the messengers of positive and correct knowledge on HIV can help dispel inaccurate myths and break down the stigma and discrimination against people affected with HIV/AIDS."
The volunteers will now be prepared to welcome everyone to the Olympic Games, especially those with HIV/AIDS, said Subinay Nandy, the country director of the UN Development Program, which co-funded the June 14-15 training session with UNAIDS and UN Volunteers (UNV). In addition to their roles as Olympic ambassadors, Nandy hopes the youths will continue to share their knowledge about HIV with others as well.
The training was jointly convened by UNAIDS and UNV, in cooperation with the Beijing Communist Youth League, Marie Stopes International China, and the Red Cross Society of China.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.