China

Stars help fight stigma of HIV/AIDS in China

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© UNICEF China/2005/Legins
Miriam Yeung and Daniel Chan, Goodwill Ambassadors with the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, visit a village school in Shanxi province, China.

BEIJING, China, 5-10 March 2005 - Miriam Yeung and Daniel Chan are Goodwill Ambassadors with the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF. Both are famous entertainers, beloved by millions of fans in Hong Kong and elsewhere in China. Ms. Yeung is a singer, while Mr. Chan is a singer and an actor. They recently went to Shanxi province, China, to visit children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Ms. Yeung and Mr. Chan’s visit was part of an effort to rally support for children and families living with HIV/AIDS, and to help fight the stigma and discrimination surrounding the disease. During their trip, the Goodwill Ambassadors stopped at a village school, where they met with Qian Qian (not her real name), a 9-year-old girl living with HIV. Qian Qian lost her mother to AIDS. Her older brother, Zhuang Zhuang (not his real name), 14, is HIV negative. However he often feels sad and depressed because of his mother's death and his sister’s illness.

Ms. Yeung and Mr. Chan chatted with Qian Qian and Zhuang Zhuang and played games with them. The two ambassadors also learned about UNICEF’s efforts to bring psychosocial support to children like Zhuang Zhuang. In Shanxi Province, a programme coordinated by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and supported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and by UNICEF has allocated around $120,000 to provide care for children affected by HIV/AIDS.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF China/2005/Legins
Miriam Yeung (left) meet with schoolchildren in Shanxi Province to discuss the need to combat the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.

Zhuang Zhuang told Ms. Yeung and Mr. Chan that he wants to be a doctor one day so that he can cure AIDS.

Ms. Yeung and Mr. Chan met with local officials, teachers, and schoolchildren to discuss the need to combat the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. Children affected by HIV/AIDS may suffer stigma and discrimination. As a result, in the future they may have much more difficulty in finding a job or getting married. In addition, the fear of being stigmatized discourages people from finding out their HIV status and receiving appropriate treatment and care.

At the end of their trip, Ms. Yeung and Mr. Chan held a press conference for China’s national media. An account of their field visit will be broadcast as a special fundraising TV programme in Hong Kong; the money raised will be used for UNICEF’s ‘China Children’s Health Fund’.

The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF contributed over $4 million during 2003 and 2004 to support UNICEF’s work for China’s children.


 

 

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