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HIV/AIDS sufferers coming out from the shadows
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They tells the story from the perspective of a doctor. With most of her patients showing up in masks and sunglasses, the doctor refers to them by numbers and never by name. After many unsuccessful attempts to save her patients, the doctor falls into great despair.

But then a patient called Li Ming comes along. Li becomes an ardent volunteer reaching out to the high-risk communities, such as unlicensed prostitutes and the gay population, to raise awareness of the disease and promote safe sex to stay away from HIV.

Bei enjoyed the drama but says the reality of living with HIV is not as gloomy as the play revealed.

"When I was down there as an audience, for a moment, I was thinking, 'is my life really that miserable?'" he says.

"I would say, 'yes', 10 years ago when there was no medical treatment available. But for now, my answer is no, a definite no.

"I feel grateful to realize that there have been so much progress in our society's overall response to HIV/AIDS."

Dr Bai says AIDS is no longer something people die of, but die with. "Thanks to great medical achievement, AIDS is now in essence a chronic disease," says the doctor.

"It is infectious and so far incurable. However, with appropriate surveillance and treatment, most people living with HIV in China are now able to live a life as normal as that of the healthy."

The Chinese government offers free treatment for HIV victims. Known internationally as anti-retroviral therapy or ART, the therapy checks the development of the human immunodeficiency virus in the body.

Dr Bai says because of the improved treatment, there are now fewer patients dying of AIDS at a relatively young age.

"Most of them are dying of AIDS because they haven't received timely treatment due to misdiagnosis. By the time they arrive in our hospital, it is already too late," he says.

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