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Henan Funds Students from High Incidence Areas of AIDS/HIV

Central China's Henan Province has set up a special fund used to finance students from the province's 38 AIDS/HIV high-incidence villages, helping them finish the preliminary education.

Statistics of the Chinese Ministry of Health note that China has about 840,000 HIV carriers today, 11,844 of which come from Henan Province.

The horrible disease brings poverty to many villages with high incidences of AIDS, says an official with the provincial government, who declined to be named.

Many students whose parents suffer from AIDS cannot even afford their books and therefore have to interrupt their primary studies, the official said.

The provincial government will make specific plans and standards to finance the students, giving special care to AIDS orphans, and guaranteeing that every student whose family is hit by AIDS/HIV can be helped.

The official says the money will directly go to the schools, which are forbidden to charge the financed students in any way.

(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2004)

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