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AIDS Control Needs Help of All: Minister
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China will continue to pool together its resources from the ground up in its battle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Vice-Minister of Health Wang Longde said Tuesday.

Grassroots organizations have to be mobilized to the fullest extent to get AIDS under control, Wang said after receiving a UNAID award acknowledging his leadership in China's fight against the disease.

"My award owes to the government's policy to make AIDS containment a priority in China," he said.

Another UNAID award went to Professor Zhang Beichuan with Qingdao University, China's leading scholar in the field of studies in homosexuality, for his ground-breaking work in raising HIV awareness among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Wang said: "In a sense, grassroots organizations committed to HIV/AIDS response and control are better received than the government by high-risk groups and are an indispensable force in the war against the deadly disease."

UNAIDS executive director Dr Peter Piot, on a weeklong visit to China said joint efforts of different social forces, primarily civil societies, were crucial for a successful war against AIDS.

"China might just be turning the corner on AIDS hence sustainable leadership, funds, and efforts are of great importance," Piot said.

HeĀ also expressed his hope for wider treatment coverage, higher data transparency and less social discrimination in China's fight against AIDS.

A new "UN joint program on AIDS" has been launched to enhance coordination with the Chinese government, Piot said.

(China Daily July 18, 2007)

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