UNICEF, Chinese Group Launch Campaign to End Discrimination Against AIDS Orphans in China
June 23, 2005
UNICEF and the not-for-profit organization China Youth Concern Committee on Wednesday announced the launch of a public awareness campaign aimed at ending discrimination against Chinese children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS, the AP/Yahoo! News reports. The campaign -- the first of its kind in China -- includes a pop song sung by celebrity Vicky Zhao and a short cartoon about "a lonely child whose life is changed by making new friends," according to the AP/Yahoo! News. A Chinese law adopted last year prohibits discrimination angainst anyone with an infectious disease, including HIV/AIDS. However, according to Christian Voumard, UNICEF representative in China, many children who are HIV-positive or orphaned are frequently mistreated by classmates and teachers because of a lack of knowledge about the disease. "Despite the achievements made in China to address HIV/AIDS, the associated stigma and discrimination remains a challenge that is yet to be adequately addressed," Voumard said. Zhao said she wants her song "to tell everyone that we need to understand and help these kids and let them know that there can be a brighter tomorrow." According to the Chinese government, there are about 840,000 HIV-positive people and 80,000 people living with AIDS in the country (Olesen, AP/Yahoo! News, 6/22).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.