China's health and education authorities have started a nationwide campaign to raise HIV/AIDS awareness among college students to combat a rise in transmissions through sex.
"Among the newly diagnosed HIV carriers in 2006, almost 80 percent were aged 20 to 39," Vice Health Minister Wang Longde said at the launch of the campaign in Beijing's Renmin University.
Wang said young people were more willing to accept or practice new concepts, ideas and even risky behavior, so they were more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.
"It is the responsibility of the whole of society to help them establish healthy lifestyles," said Wang.
The project, co-organized by the AIDS Working Committee Office under the State Council, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Center Committee of the Communist Youth League, includes regular training and large publicity programs on campus.
The organizers said they hoped the project would attract more college students to join China's campaign against HIV/AIDS.
China had recorded 203,527 HIV cases by April, but health authorities estimate the country has about 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, including 75,000 with full blown AIDS.
(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2007)