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Guangxi Benefits from Sino-Australia AIDS Prevention Project

With over three years of hard efforts, the Joint China-Australia AIDS prevention and care project has effectively curbed the spread of the deadly disease in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region by reducing the share of hypodermic needles among drug users.

Statistics show that in this region the rate of needle-sharing among drug users has dropped from 37.7 percent to 4.6 percent within one week.

By the end of October, the project provided free needles for approximately 3,000 drug users and distributed more than 400,000 syringes.

"We need to find previous drug users who succeeded in overcoming the addiction and distribute free needles among them, as many of them have close contact with current drug users," said Huang Ling, manager of the Sino-Australia Guangxi AIDS prevention and care project.

The China-Australia AIDS prevention and care project, which began in 2002, will last for five years. During the project, the Australian side will inject around 30 million yuan (US$2.75 million), as well as supplying expert training and hardware support. The Chinese side will mainly supply manpower, as well as matching funds.

(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2005)

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