China’s Rural Migrants Are New Front in AIDS Fight

Chinese officials are worried that migrant laborers may be the newest high-risk group for AIDS in China. From Reuters:

“Other at-risk groups are rather small, but this one is huge,” said Sun Xinhua, head of an office to combat AIDS that reports directly to the State Council, China’s cabinet.

China’s construction workers, miners and casual labourers have all the ingredients for HIV to spread. Often far from home, bored, and with some spare cash in their pockets, few of them use condoms when they visit prostitutes as rootless as themselves.

“You must stay away from these women and keep yourself out of trouble, especially when you are working away from home,” said Liu Guilin, 38, at a dusty construction site in eastern Beijing.

Meanwhile, it’s also been reported that a Belgian film crew reporting on the spread of AIDS in the country were beaten by thugs allegedly hired by local officials. From Reuters:

After interviewing several representatives of AIDS groups on Thursday, Belgian journalist Tom Van de Weghe and his production team from Flemish public television VRT were beaten and robbed of cash and equipment by 12 men recruited by authorities in Henan province, a VRT spokesperson said.


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