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Free Ethnic Guidebooks for AIDS Prevention to Be Distributed

China's Ministry of Health (MOH) announced Wednesday that it will distribute 90,000 free AIDS prevention guidebooks in five ethnic languages to minority people throughout the nation.


The AIDS prevention guidebooks, written in the languages of the Mongol, Tibetan, Uygur, Kazak and Korean ethnic minorities, were published by the Ethnic Publishing House (EPH), with 200,000 yuan (approximately US$25,000) of funding from the MOH.


According to a survey conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDCP), among areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, many HIV carriers come from remote minority-inhabiting areas where most of them were infected through sharing unsanitary syringes.


In the areas inhabited by Tibetan, Inner Mongolian and Korean minorities, although reported figures of HIV carriers were not very high, behaviors that can induce HIV infection are very common, said Shen Jie, vice director of the CCDCP.


Language barriers are some of the major obstacles to spreading the knowledge of AIDS prevention in those areas, Shen told Xinhua.


MOH's spokesman Mao Qun'an said the guidebooks will reduce minorities' fear and stigma against HIV carriers and provide them with AIDS prevention knowledge as well as the nation's policies of caring for HIV carries.


The guidebooks, translated from a 300,000-word original Chinese version, will be distributed to health care institutions at the village level in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Gansu, Qinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan, Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, where most of China's minorities live.


China's MOH funded 250,000 free popular books for SARS prevention in 2003 when the epidemic scourged the nation. It is the second time for the ministry to fund a commonweal publication.

(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2005)

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