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CRI News Report:UNICEF & Manchester United Promote...

UNICEF & Manchester United Promote HIV/AIDS Education in China

The United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, is calling on people to protect children against HIV/AIDS in China. The British football club Manchester United has joined the campaign, helping China promote HIV/AIDS education.

Liu Min has the story.

Reporter:

Manchester United Stars Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov are playing a game with some Chinese school children in the United for UNICEF campaign by the famous West Lake in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

The project helps children learn skills to prevent transmission of HIV, reduce stigma and discrimination against HIV contractors.

The British club was the first football club to take the initiative in developing an active role in helping kids to know more about HIV/AIDS.

Manchester United Foundation CEO, John Shiels.

"All of our players give willingly towards such courses, and have send out very important messages towards every body, particularly, to the youth. The youth are our tomorrows. So it's really important that our stars are willing to stand out, willing to be courageous, and stand out and say, and do what's right."

The project helps children learn skills to prevent transmission of HIV, reduce stigma and discrimination against HIV contractors.

According to the statistic released by the Chinese government, currently only some 40% of 15 to 24 year olds have accurate knowledge of how HIV is transmitted and how to protect themselves.

Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF Representative to China, says the virus is having an increasingly devastating impact on young people these days.

"In Asia, 80% of all new infections are among the people under the age of 24. In China, every ten and a half minutes, a person becomes infected by HIV. The number of Chinese people who get infected every year increases by 30%."

UNICEF and the Chinese government have been working together to raise protection consciousness among school children. UNICEF has collaborated with China's Ministry of Education to develop the 'Skills for Life in a Box' kit distributed to schools in seven provinces.

More than 560 children from 300 schools have received the kit.

Each box contains educational materials, games and sporting equipment.

Michael Carrick says he enjoys such process of learning very much.

"The problem when I was growing up wasn't so serious in the public eyes. Yet we were educated at schools but it wasn't seen as a major problem. For me personally, it's good to be here, and the more we can do is to work more with UNICEF, and trips like this is good for players to come and try it harder to work together with UNICEF."

Manchester United also donated a 100 thousand pounds cheque to help promote the education of preventing HIV/AIDS among young people in China.

Liu Min, CRI News, Hangzhou.

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