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Chinese Young People Need More Anti-AIDS/HIV Knowledge
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Chinese young people need more knowledge on how to prevent the spread of AIDS/HIV, said Dr. Yin Yin Nwe, resident representative of UNICEF here Thursday.

UNICEF received a donation of one million yuan (US$125,000) from M.A.C, a brand of the world's top cosmetics manufacturer Estee Lauder Group, to better help young Chinese in the fight against AIDS/HIV.

Nwe said about 80 percent of new HIV cases were reported in young people aged 15 to 24. In 2005 alone, China reported 70,000 new HIV cases.

"Despite the great efforts of the Chinese government, many Chinese young people still know little about AIDS/HIV or how to prevent the disease," said Nwe. "Ignorance is the biggest enemy to AIDS/HIV campaign".

A UNICEF survey of more than 2,000 middle school students in a major city in 2006 showed as many as 40 percent used no protection measures when having sex for the first time.

"UNICEF has been actively seeking partners to launch the anti-AIDS/HIV campaign among young people in China," Nwe said.

She said M.A.C launched an AIDS/HIV foundation in 1994 and had worked with UNICEF since. In China, they had tried to publicize basic knowledge of AIDS/HIV prevention.

Nwe said everyone would come to recognize that AIDS/HIV was a global threat that could be conquered only by eliminating discrimination caused by ignorance.

This year, M.A.C invited Li Yuchun, winner of the "Super Girl" singing contest and three Chinese actresses to represent its anti-AIDS/HIV foundation. They will visit UNICEF AIDS/HIV prevention programs.

Nwe said UNICEF also invited 100 people from Chinese schools and communities to help promote understanding of the campaign against AIDS/HIV.

Since 1994, M.A.C has donated all the sales revenues of VIVA GLAM lipstick to the international campaign against AIDS/HIV, contributing more than US$70 million in total.

China reported 183,733 HIV/AIDS cases in 2006, up 30 percent from 2005. Experts from the Ministry of Health estimate there are actually 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China.

(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2007)

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