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AIDS Awareness Playing Cards for Migrant Workers

Coca Cola (China) Beverages Ltd. has launched a program to give 100,000 sets of playing cards with AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria prevention knowledge to Chinese migrant workers.


The poker cards will be handed out at railway stations and construction sites in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou in July, said a statement from the company.


The company also plans to cooperate with the Chinese Foundation for Prevention of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and AIDS to hand out AIDS prevention cards in Henan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, where the incidence of AIDS is high.


Coca Cola staff will also be given the cards to raise awareness.


Migrant workers are mainly young men who are either unmarried or away from their spouses most of the year, leading some to seek the services of prostitutes, which in turn makes them vulnerable to HIV infection.


Statistics from Beijing's Health Bureau show that migrant workers accounted for about 80 percent of Beijing's new HIV carriers last year.


China has 200 million migrant workers, of which more than 120 million work in cities. The remainder work in towns.


China is at a key stage in its fight against AIDS/HIV. A report from the International Labor Organization estimates that China could lose five million laborers by 2015 if it fails to take effective action.


China reported 183,733 HIV and AIDS cases in 2006, up 30 percent from 2005. The increase was attributed partly to improvements in reporting.


Experts estimate there are actually 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China.


(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2007)

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