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At a glance: Japan

Youth take the stage at HIV/AIDS symposium

© UNICEF Japan/2006/Watanabe
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Agnes Chan speaking at the HIV/AIDS symposium in Tokyo.

By Noriko Watanabe

TOKYO, Japan, 1 June 2006 –The UNICEF symposium on HIV/AIDS, sponsored by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Yomiuri Shimbun News Paper, was held at Tokyo U-port theater on 23 May. The message from the symposium was “AIDS is not only a problem for grown-ups. Protect children from the HIV/AIDS Pandemic.”

There were two keynote speeches – the first given by Chief of the HIV/AIDS section of UNICEF, Peter McDermott, the second by Goodwill Ambassador Agnes Chan.

Practical tips on living with AIDS

A panel discussion featuring Mr. McDermott, Ms. Chan and others followed. Panel topics included AIDS prevention, HIV/AIDS in Swaziland, and child trafficking. The panelists also gave practical tips on how to live with HIV/AIDS and how to fight the indifference and stigma related to AIDS.

At the close of the symposium, ten youth activists from Childnet, a programme aimed at raising awareness of global issues among Japanese, spoke out about the impact of AIDS on children around the world. One 11 year old girl, said, “It is very surprising for me that children my age live alone because of HIV/AIDS.  I do hope more people will become aware of the global impact of HIV/AIDS.”












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