Five thousand taxi drivers will contribute to Beijing's fight against HIV/AIDS by raising awareness among passengers, a health official said on Thursday.
Drivers from 15 taxi companies will dish out HIV/AIDS info cards to passengers in the first ten days of December, said Beijing Health Bureau director Jin Dapeng at a ceremony marking World AIDS Day that falls on Friday.
The move is aimed at helping Beijingers know more about AIDS and to persuade them to treat people living with HIV/AIDS in a humane manner.
Beijing has reported 633 new HIV cases so far this year, including 130 local residents, 491 migrant workers and 12 foreigners, said Jin. With the 679 new HIV cases recorded in 2005, the capital now has a total of 3,462 cases.
High-risk groups include sex workers and drug addicts.
Jin said Beijing has set up six specialized clinics in six city districts to provide HIV carriers with medicine and treatment.
According to the Ministry of Health, China had an estimated 650,000 HIV carriers, including 75,000 AIDS patients, by the end of last year.
(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)