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Media Called on to Improve AIDS Coverage

If China does not check AIDS in time, the country's achievements in human rights protection might be cast into the wind and China might be the scene of the same tragedies in southern Africa, a human rights expert warned Saturday.


China's media should improve and shoulder more responsibilities to fight against AIDS, said Yang Zhengquan, executive vice-president of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development (CFHRD).


Zhang made the remarks in a keynote report at China's first symposium on news coverage on AIDS, which opened in Beijing Saturday.


AIDS-HIV patients have been reported in all of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China's mainland, said Yang, but the news coverage on AIDS is still narrow and shallow.


The media should help promote more knowledge on AIDS prevention and keep the people aware of the development of AIDS and avoid too much social panic at the same time, Yang said.


A record three million people died of AIDS across the world last year, according to the Global AIDS Epidemic Report of 2003 published by the World Health Organization. China's HIV carriers are expected to top 12 million by 2010.


The forum, which will conclude April 19, was sponsored by the Center for International Communications Studies of Qinghua University, the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships in the United States and CFHRD.


CFHRD was set up in 1994 as a non-governmental organization with a tenet to develop and complete China's human rights cause and promote human rights understanding and cooperation with other countries.


(Xinhua News Agency April 18, 2004)

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