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UN Undersecretary: HIV Prevalence among Young Chinese Males is Rising

Michel Sidibé, United Nations undersecretary and UNAIDS Executive Director, pointed out on May 4 in Beijing that roughly 15% of all HIV-infected persons in China are youths aged 15-24, and the infection rate among young males is rising.

Michel Sidibé said so during the event of "Global Zero Infection, Youths are in Action — Thematic Public Benefit Event among Universities in Beijing during Youth Day" in University of Science and Technology Beijing on May 4.

He said that AIDS and related diseases have become the second leading cause of death among youths around the globe; in 2013 alone, around 120,000 youths in the world died of AIDS or related diseases, averagely over 300 on each day. It should be noted that, while other age segments have seen decrease in AIDS-induced deaths, the number of youths who died of AIDS is rising.

He also indicated that, among all HIV-positive people in China, around 15% are youths aged 15-24 years. "This is a substantial figure."

Michel called for more actions to enable youths to safeguard their health, including the establishment of a brand new platform for eliminating HIV among youths, e.g. enhancing the quality of test data to detect under-reporting of HIV infections among youths; paying particular attentions to youths in nation-wide HIV/AIDS response actions, and developing IEC campaigns that effectively involve youths.

During the event, six student representatives from Peking University, Tsinghua University, University of Science and Technology Beijing, etc. called for "Zero AIDS" initiative among college students throughout China, advocating for positive attitudes and non-discrimination among youths; self-protection and protection of others; and youth leadership in HIV/AIDS response initiatives.

Wang Xiaoyong, secretary general of China-Africa Business Council which sponsored the event, indicated that the Council will continue pushing forward its cooperation with UNAIDS and supporting the development of HIV/AIDS in Africa beginning from eight African countries heavily affected by HIV/AIDS. (Source: jkb.com.cn/ChinaNews.com; Journalist: Li Xiaoyu; 2015-05-06.)