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HOME: POPULATION ISSUES: PREVENTING HIV INFECTION: Global Youth Partners
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China

Youth Partner

Name: Hang “QQ” Can
Age: 21
Nationality: Chinese
Affiliated Organization:

Y outh Volunteer Association of Renmin
University Of China
China Family Planning Association
Youth Representative of the Office for East, South East Asia and Oceania Region (ESEAOR) of International Planned Parenthood Federation

Hang “QQ” Can was trained to be a peer educator by UNICEF while she was in college and has been working on ASRH and HIV prevention. Ever since her training she has been devoted to improving people’s understanding and awareness of HIV/AIDS.

While studying for her Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Information Management, Hang Can also found time to organize activities such as summer camps (supported by UNICEF) and a party (supported by UNFPA) to spread the basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS in a fun way.

In August 2003, Hang Can was selected to be the regional youth representative of IPPF ESEAOR. She enjoys listening to music, watching movies, playing the piano as well as meeting and communicating with other passionate young people.

 

UNFPA in China

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has largely been identified among high-risk groups (sex workers, injecting drug users, men who have sex with men). The most common mode of HIV transmission is through needle sharing among drug users. However transmission through sexual intercourse is rising and is likely to become the major mode of transmission.

In China, there are 300 million children and young people under the age of 25. Attitudes and behaviour in young people are changing very rapidly as the country modernizes. Young people start to have sex at a much younger age than earlier generations. Their knowledge about HIV/AIDS is very low. Surveys among university students show that less than 50% know the three major transmission routes of HIV. At present there is no accurate information on how many young people are vulnerable to HIV infection.

Presently in China, there is no comprehensive nation wide programme regarding HIV/AIDS and young people. China’s reaction to HIV/AIDS and concern for young people is focused on general instruments such as information dissemination by mass media and condom social marketing. But there are also some instruments directly related to young people. China ratified several international conventions (ICPD, UNGASS on HIV/AIDS Declaration of Commitment [DoC]) in which specific targets for young people are mentioned. China also developed a Medium- and Long-term Plan on HIV/AIDS (1997-2010) and a Five Year Action Plan (2001-2005). Activities are focused on providing HIV prevention education in schools (secondary schools and higher education institutes).

For the UNFPA China Country Office, young people are an important target group. UNFPA focuses its HIV/AIDS initiatives for youth on prevention and supports three kinds of activities: advocacy, life skills, training/peer education, and HIV/AIDS prevention education in-schools. The China Family Planning Association, with support from UNFPA, is implementing ASRH advocacy activities (2003-2005). The advocacy approaches address decision-makers at the national and provincial levels. Also, youth seminars and media campaigns are supported at both the national and local level to promote youth RH, and to share experiences and enhance public awareness. The trainings include information on sexual development; RH and contraceptives, including abstinence and use of condoms within the local context; the need for gender equality; and information on STIs and HIV/AIDS and locally available services. Furthermore, young people will learn life skills to empower themselves, how to handle social and peer pressure, and how to communicate. Service providers in the project counties will be trained specifically to deal with young people in a friendly and respectful manner.
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