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China to Air Documentary to Mark World AIDS Day
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China is going to air a foreign documentary on HIV/AIDS to mark the World AIDS Day which falls on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health.

The documentary, called A Closer Walk, features international AIDS experts, social activists and AIDS patients who served in AIDS organizations.

It has been widely aired in the Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada, India and Ukraine, said Vice Health Minister Wang Longde at a preview at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Wednesday.

Mostly based on the original version, the documentary to be broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV) has an additional 10 minutes focusing on China's prevention and control of AIDS. Chinese officials are interviewed on "sensitive" topics regarding AIDS, and it depicts the lives of orphans of AIDS victims and HIV-infected people, said director Li Man.

 The government had taken many measures and made achievements in AIDS control, said Kevin Wale, president of General Motors China Group, which sponsored the making of the documentary.

Wang Longde said China would continue improving laws and regulations and increase input in AIDS control, while encouraging social contributions.

The health ministry reported last week that the number of people officially reported as HIV infected had risen 27.5 percent since the beginning of the year, to more than 180,000. It also warned that the epidemic was spreading from high-risk groups to the general public.

Estimates by the ministry, the WHO and UNAIDS show China has about 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, including 75,000 who have developed AIDS.

The documentary, premiered in January 2003, has been viewed by about 15 million people.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)

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