China Launches Nationwide Video Campaign To Promote Condom Use in Effort To Prevent Spread of HIV
China on Thursday launched a nationwide video campaign, titled "Life is Too Good," aimed at encouraging condom use in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports.
The campaign consists of three television clips produced by Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon, who last year received an Academy Award for a documentary on Chinese AIDS orphans. According to the United Nations Development Programme, which is supporting the campaign, hundreds of millions of people will see the clips monthly during the next year. The Ministry of Health also worked on the campaign (AP/International Herald Tribune, 12/6).
The clips are targeted at young people and migrant workers and will be broadcast on screens in buses, trains and planes. They also will be shown on the Internet, in entertainment venues and on some television stations, according to Reuters. Several Chinese actors and musicians are participating in the project.
The clips feature celebrities meeting or watching young people in different situations and saying, "Life is too good, please protect yourself." A message is featured on the screen saying that sex is the main mode of HIV transmission in China and that young people are at risk for the virus. "Using condoms can reduce the risk of contracting AIDS," the advertisements say.
Subinay Nandy, UNDP director in China, said the campaign "marks a new era in talking frankly and candidly" about HIV, adding that the campaign is "very timely and is very valid for the [HIV] epidemic in China today." According to Chinese actor Pu Cunxin, who participated in the campaign, the project is "a very big advance" and represents a breakthrough that HIV/AIDS and sex can be discussed publicly.
A 1999 attempt to promote condoms on television was cut for violating a ban on condom advertisements, Reuters reports. According to Reuters, about 700,000 people in China are living with HIV/AIDS (Blanchard, Reuters, 12/6).
China To Require Citizens Who Leave Country for More Than One Year To Receive HIV Test
In related news, a Chinese newspaper on Thursday reported that the government will begin to require Chinese citizens who leave the country for more than one year to receive an HIV test when they return, Reuters reports.
The new regulations began this month and apply to Chinese air and ship crew members working outside the country. It is unclear how the requirement will be implemented, according to Reuters.
A health ministry official last month said that China will eliminate immigration laws that restrict people living with HIV/AIDS from traveling to the country. The restrictions have prevented HIV-positive people from entering China to attend HIV/AIDS conferences, according to Reuters. They also reinforce stigma and discrimination against people living with the disease, according to Reuters (Reuters, 12/6).