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NGOs Urged to Work with Gov't in AIDS Prevention and Control

Non-government organizations (NGOs) in China should intensively cooperate with the Chinese government in AIDS prevention and control, said Zeng Yi, chairman of the Chinese Foundation for Prevention of STD and AIDS in Beijing Wednesday.   

Zeng, also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said there were around one million HIV carriers now in China, and the number would increase tenfold in 2020 if no drastic measures were taken. "There is no time to delay in prevention and control work", he warned.


"NGOs like our foundation should work in cooperation with the government to boost China's AIDS prevention and control work," Zeng said. He considered Thailand a good example in this respect --after decades of mutual efforts between the Thai government and NGOs, Thailand had successfully controlled its number of AIDS sufferers to below one million, which was decreasing.


According to Dr. Zeng, the spread of AIDS prevention and control knowledge to general public is most crucial for AIDS prevention and control in China, and thus increasing investment in AIDS prevention and control, to a large extent, means increasing investment in AIDS education.


Meanwhile, Zeng expressed the hope that the Chinese government could strengthen its investment in AIDS prevention and control, as well as HIV research, because "compared with European countries, China's HIV research outlay is very limited, which in turn hinders the progress of China's anti-AIDS work."


However, it was impossible for the government to pay for everything, he acknowledged, so society as a whole, especially the business community, ought to financially support AIDS prevention and control in China.


"If every Chinese person donates two yuan (about 24 US cents), we can promise that in three years' time six million Chinese will be spared from the disease because of timely and effective publicity," Zeng said.


(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2003)

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