China To Launch HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign Focusing on Migrant Workers
China's Ministry of Labor and Social Security on Friday launched a HIV/AIDS prevention campaign focused on the country's migrant workers, Xinhua/China Daily reports (Xinhua/China Daily, 1/26). The program -- funded by U.S. Department of Labor -- aims to raise public awareness of HIV prevention, protect employment rights of people living with the disease, and reduce stigma and discrimination in the workplace (Xinhua/People's Daily, 1/26). According to Xinhua/China Daily, many of the 200 million migrant workers in the country avoid taking no-cost HIV tests available at their workplace because of stigma associated with the virus and fear they will be fired if they test positive. Employers and migrant workers will be taught about HIV transmission and prevention methods and will be given brochures, Zheng Dongliang, the program's director, said at the program's launch on Friday (Xinhua/China Daily, 1/26). A recent report conducted by the International Labor Organization estimates that the country could lose five million laborers by 2015 if it does not take effective measures to address HIV/AIDS. Deborah Seligsohn, counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, said the education program will also help increase awareness among the spouses of migrant workers. The U.S. Labor Department is providing $3.5 million for the program, according to Caijing Magazine. According to Seligsohn, through the program the U.S. government will help build capacity and share effective methods in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS and caring for those living with the disease (Xinhua/China's Daily, 1/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.