By Li Shen and Wang Ke
China.org.cn Multimedia Team
"Hometown Fellows", China's first HIV prevention campaign directed at migrant workers has made significant advances in reducing stigma and risk behaviours according to a study released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Monday, August 3.
Leading director Gu Changwei (R) thanks Constance Thomas, Director of the International Labour Office for China and Mongolia while holding the award for his contribution to "Hometown Fellows" Campaign on August 3, 2009. [Li Shen/China.org.cn]
91 percent of participants surveyed were aware that condoms could prevent HIV, up from 58 percent in the baseline survey. 94 percent understood that non-sexual contact could not transmit HIV, up from 38 percent in the baseline survey. 84 percent said they were willing to work with HIV-positive colleagues, up from 40 percent in the baseline survey. And 73 percent said they used condoms during their last casual or commercial sexual activity, up from 49 percent in the baseline survey.
Approximately 50 million migrant workers were reached through the program, which was launched in January 2007, and was conducted in companies, vocational schools, employment agencies and along major transportation routes throughout China.
Twelve enterprises, employing over 250,000 workers in the provinces of Guangdong, Yunnan and Anhui, were selected to pilot comprehensive workplace HIV policies aimed at reducing discrimination, protecting the employment rights of HIV carriers and guaranteeing on-going prevention work and health service referrals.
2,000 vocational school teachers received training on how to organize participatory HIV/STI and reproductive health training for students. And 1,000 vocational schools covered by the program will reach 5 million students with HIV awareness material over the next five years.