Xinhua News Agency (09.01.11) - Friday, September 23, 2011
In the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, health
workers are turning to the area's history of musical folklore
to spread AIDS prevention messages.
"We asked eight local singers to write and record songs about
the disease," said Huang Zhanghui, who became head of Shantun
village's AIDS prevention office two months ago. The
traditional art form helps make the messages easier to
understand and accept, Huang said.
Guangxi is second only to Henan province in terms of its
number of HIV infections, more than 76 percent of which are
sexually transmitted, said Ge Xianmin, a Guangxi government
AIDS prevention official.
In addition to folk songs, Huang's office uses text messaging
and public film screenings to build AIDS awareness.
"We have been making progress with our anti-AIDS campaign,"
said Huang. "Nearly all of our villagers know how AIDS is
transmitted and how to prevent it."
"I used to blush at the simple mention of sexual topics," said
Lu Meirong, 33, who joined a local women's AIDS group in June.
Now she counsels family and relatives to avoid sex workers and
use condoms, a view she urges other women in the village to
adopt. "I tell them to remind their migrant relatives to be
tested for HIV after returning home," she said.
Peer education is critically needed in rural communities, said
Wei Kaizhong, who leads the health bureau for Hechi, the
administrative city of Bama County. In agreement, Ge said,
"Rural residents are the weakest links in China's AIDS
prevention efforts. Campaigns conducted by local residents are
the most economical and effective way to stop the spread of