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Annan Lauds China's Efforts on Prevention and Treatment of AIDS

Visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan lauds China's AIDS prevention and control efforts and urges the people to do away with discrimination against AIDS patients and help them treat the disease.

While touring the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Chaoyang District in the Chinese capital, Annan inspected the test and monitoring facilities and chatted with Beijing HIV patients.

The UN chief extended his congratulations to the medical staff on the sport site for their superb work and said he was very pleased to see China was making tremendous efforts in the battle against AIDS.

Citing prevention and treatment of AIDS as a great cause, Annan said one of the most important aspects of the cause is that all people from all walks of life in society should be educated about the disease.

Fred Eckhard, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said that although the rate of infection in China is relatively limited at present, it could become a scourge if not timely controlled.

Annan was very pleased to witness that China has been making efforts in the past two years, Eckhard acknowledged. The Chinese government has successfully launched a drive from the top to the grassroots level, raising national awareness of AIDS.

The latest official statistics, at the end of 2003, showed that China had about 840,000 HIV infected people.

Annan expressed the hope that all of China will do away with discrimination against AIDS carriers and encourage them to receive medical checks and get prompt, early treatment.

(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2004)

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