Primary pupils and middle school students in Beijing, identified as having the potential to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, have received a compulsory AIDS prevention course designed especially for them.
The Education Bureau of Beijing announced on Tuesday that a textbook on HIV/AIDS prevention, the first of its kind in China, had been compiled and used in local primary and middle schools with four and six hours of study per term for junior and senior middle school students respectively.
"Teenagers must learn about the transmission routes of and prevention measures against HIV/AIDS," said Jin Dapeng, director of the local public health bureau. "It's of great importance to lead them to a healthy life style and avoid discrimination of AIDS patients," he said.
China has made great efforts and invested in HIV/AIDS prevention and control campaigns which focus on the high-risk groups such as drug addicts, homosexuals and migrant workers. And the government has initiated an action plan from 2006-2010 with the aim of effectively preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
"However, AIDS prevention is still a sensitive topic to Chinese teenagers amid traditional school education of the ancient orient nation," said Liu Ying, an experienced teacher with 16 years of dealing with health affairs in Beijing Jingshan School. "Via the new textbook students will learn how to use condoms properly and what is safe sexual behavior," Liu explained.
According to the teacher, except for the ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful and Condom use) prevention method, discussions and promotions like the "no-smoking" and "no high-risk sexual behavior" are also included in the HIV/AIDS prevention textbook for Beijing's primary and middle school students. "We'll try our best to lead the students to a common understanding on HIV/AIDS and prevention measures against the diseases," Liu added.
China has about 650,000 people infected with HIV of which 75,000 are AIDS patients. In Beijing those infected with HIV and AIDS was 3,462 at the end of October.
(Xinhua News Agency December 20, 2006)