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AIDS Restaurant Opens in Shanghai

One way to mark World AIDS Day Thursday would be to wander over to Yuyuan Road near the Jing'an Temple for a meal at the city's first AIDS-themed restaurant.


The Chinese eatery, which was set up by a local media firm and a US multinational, will give away condoms to adult dinners and encourage customers to donate their change to AIDS charities.


The restaurant, named Wumizhou, will open on Thursday targeting white-collar workers, according to officials with the Wumizhou Group.


"Following the precedence of an AIDS eatery in Thailand, this theme restaurant in Shanghai was launched by the Wumizhou Group and US-based 3M to wipe out prejudice, distribute condoms, promote education and sponsor AIDS charities," said Fang Yifang, an official in charge of local AIDS charity programs.


Officials from 3M said their company does a lot of work with breast cancer charities in the United States, and they were looking to do more charity work in Shanghai, so the restaurant seemed like a good idea.


The Shanghai Health Bureau announced on Wednesday that the city has detected 1,506 HIV carriers since it began screening for the disease about 10 years ago, including 164 people with full-blown AIDS.


So far this year, 356 local residents have been diagnosed with HIV, a 64 percent increase from last year.


"Among the newly detected carriers of the virus, the number of males is 4.4 times that of females. Seventy-eight are locals, 271 come from other provinces and seven are from overseas," said Peng Jin, a bureau official.


Most of the infected locals caught the virus through unsafe sex, while about half of the migrants caught it from used needles, Peng said. People between the ages of 21 and 40 account for a little more than two-thirds of the 356 HIV carriers detected this year.


Peng noted that 21 medical facilities in Shanghai began offering free HIV and AIDS testing this year as well as free treatment for those who test positive.


Of the approximately 2,000 people who have been tested at those facilities this year, 26 tested positive for HIV.


The Shanghai Public Health Center provides free medication and treatment for AIDS patients, Peng said.

(Shanghai Daily December 1, 2005)

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