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Int'l Day Against Drug Marked
Governmental and non-governmental organizations in Beijing and Shanghai yesterday met to discuss and display anti-narcotic activities in observance of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which takes place today.

In Beijing, scientists, doctors, educators and activists called for an extensive drug and AIDS publicity campaign.

They also suggested that drug-control and AIDS-prevention measures be included as an indispensable part of school curriculums.

Wu Jieping, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, called for health, public security and education authorities to cooperate in the battle against drug use and AIDS.

His remark came at the opening day of the Fourth National Drug Control Publicity Workshop organized by the China Foundation of Science and Technology Development.

Blood transfusions, use of blood products, sex and mother-infant fluid transmissions are recognized as major channels for the spread of AIDS in China.

But intravenous injections of drugs are responsible for 72.4 percent of all HIV/AIDS infection cases reported in the Chinese mainland, official figures indicated.

"Where drug dealers went, AIDS followed," said Wu, at the annul one-day workshop to mark the special day against drug abuse with the theme of "Drug Use and AIDS."

Yesterday, more than 500 university students in Beijing received training on drug control and AIDS prevention at Renmin University of China. The students are expected to act as volunteers in an upcoming publicity campaign in rural and urban areas.

As part of the workshop and training, the foundation also staged a one-day painting and calligraphy show in Beijing, which was attended by renowned artists in an effort to support anti-drug activities.

Beijing health and public security authorities yesterday revealed that they have registered 23,000 drug users in the city and that about 65 percent of HIV/AIDS infection are related to drug use.

In Shanghai, local police have arrested over 937 suspects in 925 narcotics trafficking cases so far this year.

By June 20, Shanghai police had seized 63.52 kilograms of heroin, 1.44 kilograms of ecstasy tablets, 1.14 kilograms of marijuana, and 3.02 kilograms of "ice" which were made into pills.

"The total amount of the drugs confiscated in the past few months this year has outnumbered that of the whole year of 2000," said Cai Liqun, an officer from Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

Statistics show that by the end of last year, the city had more than 14,000 registered drug-users, and 21 percent of them were female, showing a slight increase over 2000.

(China Daily June 26, 2002)

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