Beijing (Fides Service) – China, the most populated country in Asia and in the world, is battling to check spreading AIDS which strikes particularly its young males.
According to the recent data issued by the Chinese Health Ministry the number of people suffering from AIDS in China is 850,000, whereas non official sources put the figure at more than one million and mainly in rural areas. The most affected group, about 60% of the total, is that of young males aged between 18 and 29. The main path for diffusion of AIDS is drugs, while prostitution accelerates the spread.
The United Nations says the total number of AIDS sufferers in the world has overtaken the 40 million mark. Africa has 70% of the sufferers, followed by Asia in second place. Since the population of Asia accounts for half that of the whole world, experts expect that in a decade Asia could overtake Africa to assume first place in the number of people with AIDS.
One measure adopted by the Chinese government to fight the spread of AIDS is to provide more health education and prevention through courses organised in schools, provinces and regions.
The Catholic Church in China is playing its part to fight the scourge, promoting moral and spiritual formation of young people. Moreover, to counter widespread social discrimination towards HIV/AIDS persons the Church works for to rehabilitate these people. Moreover the Church has number religious personnel working in homes for terminally ill AIDS patients and AIDS orphans. NZ (Fides Service 11/7/2003 EM lines 30 Words: 352)