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Chinese volunteers join fight against HIV/AIDS
01 December 2007

Beijing, China:
December 1st marks the 20th International AIDS Day. The rate of new HIV/AIDS infections in China is slowing but the situation remains a very big concern. More volunteers took an oath on Saturday to fight the deadly disease.

Actor, nurse, student, migrant workers, they come from different walks of life but all take the same oath to fight HIV/AIDS.

They are the latest recruits in an ongoing volunteer drive in Beijing. They want to help shoulder the responsibility to combat HIV virus.

A volunteer said, "As a freshman in college, I must do something in the battle against AIDS. The situation in China is not that optimistic and much effort is needed to address the issue."

China has an estimated 50-thousand new infections in 2007, compared with 70-thousand in 2005. That means there will be about 700-thousand people living with HIV/AIDS this year, up from 650-thousand estimated in 2005. The slowing rate of new HIV/AIDS infections is a result of China's reinforced efforts to fight the fatal disease.

Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander, UNAIDS China office, said, "Over these years, after I come back to China, there is very very substantial shift in how the government addresses and talks about the issue. How the government recognizes the importance of involving civil society, the community and people with HIV/AIDS in implementing their programs."