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NGO Alliance to Step Up Fight Against HIV/AIDS
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The Chinese Association of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS Prevention and Control plans to set up an AIDS control alliance to promote non-governmental organizations' participation in the fight against AIDS.

The alliance will integrate the resources of China's NGOs and coordinate their participation in domestic and international AIDS control projects to enable them to play a more important role in fighting AIDS, said an official from the association.

He said government efforts alone were not enough to fight HIV/AIDS, given the population of 1.3 billion and more NGOs should join in the battle. The NGOs should be coordinated and share information on AIDS control to improve their efficiency.

Chinese NGOs have taken a growing role in HIV/AIDS prevention and control in recent years. Volunteer groups dedicated to AIDS prevention among homosexuals in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing have been set up.

The China Rainbow Organization, based in Chongqing, plays an important role in preventing the spread of HIV among homosexuals with financial help from the British Barry and Martin Trust Fund.

China is at a key stage in its fight against AIDS/HIV. A report from the International Labor Organization estimates that China could lose five million laborers by 2015 if it fails to take effective measures to address the problem.

China reported 183,733 HIV and AIDS cases in 2006, up 30 percent from 2005. The increase was partly due to an improvement in case reporting.

Experts from the Ministry of Health estimate there are actually 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China. Chinese leaders have vowed to limit the number of AIDS cases to 1.5 million by 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2007)

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