China's First Lady Attends AIDS Charity Event

  • December 2, 2013
  • Editor: Sun Xi
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China's First Lady Attends AIDS Charity Event
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, attends a charity activity for World AIDS Day in Beijing on November 30, 2013. [people.com.cn]
China's First Lady Peng Liyuan attended a charity activity for World AIDS Day at the Renmin University of China in Beijing on November 30, 2013, as the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

The activity was held by the Chinese Health Education Center, Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control, and China Red Ribbon Foundation.

Peng and a team of volunteers ignited the red ribbons representing participation, support, understanding and love and a short film, Forever Together on HIV/AIDS, was also played at the event.

In the touching video, Peng is seen playing the piano, painting and spending time with HIV-infected children from across China. The video is part of an anti-discrimination campaign calling on society to be more caring towards AIDS and HIV affected people, especially children. Peng also sang the theme song, People Who Love You, in the video.

Premier Li Keqiang recently highlighted the necessity for social organizations and volunteers to contribute to the fight against AIDS in a letter to medical workers and patients in a hospital in Beijing.

President Xi Jinping also pointed out that efforts from all sectors of society must be mobilized to provide AIDS patients with care and eliminate discrimination against them.

Official statistics show that as of September 2013, China had 434,000 HIV/AIDS-infected people, with new cases standing at 70,000 this year and nearly 90 percent transmitted through sexual contact.

The proportion of young HIV/AIDS sufferers almost doubled between 2008 and 2012, and gay sex is considered a major reason for the increase, said Shang Hong, director of the HIV/AIDS key lab under the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

According to the commission, more than 3,000 of the 434,000 people are between 15 and 18.

The money the central government put into the fight against AIDS in 2013 increased 10.5 percent compared with last year.

As Li said in his letter, social organizations and volunteers play an indispensable role in such areas as comforting those with HIV/AIDS, intervening to limit potentially risky behavior and eliminating discrimination against AIDS patients.

He said that social services could be purchased in an innovative way to stimulate social organizations' enthusiasm to get involved in efforts to fight the disease.

Since 2006, Peng has been serving as a volunteer and image ambassador for China's HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis prevention efforts, visiting infected patients to fight social discrimination against them.

In 2011, she became a goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization, in a role that will have her raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Peng has said that she "hopes to make a significant contribution to the great work of the WHO in saving lives from TB and HIV/AIDS". 

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