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UNAIDS: Misunderstandings and Discriminations Against HIV/AIDS In China

( [email protected] ) Sep 27, 2008 03:47 PM EDT

In a recent research supported by the Joint United Nation Programmer on HIV/AIDS, numerous Chinese have wrong perceptions and misunderstanding towards HID/AIDS.

The report was a collaborate effort among UNAIDS, China AIDS Prevention Alliance, and Beijing Remin University, which interviewed 6,000 people from six cities that are white collars, blue collars, migrants, and teenagers.

The report noted that many people have false perception of HIV/AIDS; over half of those interviewed thinks that AIDS can be transmitted through bug bites; close to 83% of those interviewed thinks that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through sneezes and coughs.

Moreover, the report showed that it is common for people to have discrimination and prejudice against the HIV/AIDS contractors. Nearly 30% of those interviewed do not want their kids to go to school with HIV/AIDS infected children. Around 65% of those interviewed is not willing to live together with them and 48% is not willing to eat with them.

UNAIDS pointed out that prejudice and discrimination not only affects the regular social life of the HIV/AIDS patients, but it also heavily hinders the development of AIDS prevention programs.

Until the end of 2007, there are around 700,000 people who are HIV positive and 85,000 people with AIDS.

[Editor's note: reporter Sharon Chan contributed to this report.]