China’s Industry, Commerce Administration Launches Program To Increase HIV Prevention, Education Services in Private Sector
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce, with support from the China AIDS Roadmap Tactical Support Project, has begun to train leaders at private companies on HIV prevention and awareness to educate employees and other members of the community about the disease, Xinhua/China View reports. SAIC has trained more than 300,000 people involved in local industry and commerce offices as liaisons to communicate the country's HIV policies and prevention activities throughout local communities.
SAIC also has urged provincial industry and commerce bureaus to work with the private sector to expand HIV prevention services for migrant workers. In addition, SAIC has launched a pilot HIV education campaign for migrant workers in five provinces. According to Song Shaozhe, a researcher in SAIC's private economy supervision and management department, migrant workers often are not familiar with HIV or how to prevent it. The pilot projects have reached more than 10,300 migrant workers, Xinhua/China View reports. Shi Kai, a CHARTS program officer, said SAIC's efforts to involve the private sector in the country's HIV/AIDS strategy is an "important guarantee for the country eventually to win" the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In Jiangsu province, one of the program's five pilot provinces, SAIC focused on nine private companies in the tourism, machine and garment industries. Before the program was implemented, Jiangsu officials conducted a survey to assess knowledge and attitudes about HIV among the companies' employees, Zhang Zhenfei, deputy director of the provincial industry and commerce bureau, said. The survey polled 1,740 workers at private companies and found that about 94% had heard of HIV/AIDS and that 40% believed they could contract the virus. About 55% of the workers believed that HIV-positive people should be separated from the general population. Officials at the nine participating companies are using the survey results to develop and explore ways to increase HIV education and prevention messages among employees.
The Langtaosha E-Mass Media Company, which owns 130 Internet cafes in the province, displays messages about HIV prevention on users' computers before they log on. Zhang Zijian, the company's general technology supervisor, said that about 25,000 people daily log on to the company's computers in the provincial capital, Nanjing. The shareholding company Diyi Group has linked a Web page about HIV prevention to the company's monthly magazine. The company also is training employees about safer-sex practices (Wen, Xinhua/China View, 4/8).