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|Monday, July 02, 2001, updated at 22:44(GMT+8)|
Countries Along Mekong River Mull AIDS PreventionAn international seminar on AIDS prevention in the Mekong River valley was held Monday in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.
More than 100 officials from the countries' Red Cross societies as well as related experts from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Norway and Australia attended the seminar, which was jointly sponsored by the China Red Cross Association and the International Federation of Red Crescent.
The participants discussed the spread of AIDS in the region, medical developments concerning AIDS prevention, and promotion of Red Cross societies' role in the sector.
The Mekong River, dubbed "The Danube of the East", runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, for a total distance of 4,661 km. The 2,160-km section upstream in China is known as the Lancang River and traverses southwest China's Yunnan Province for more than 1,000 km.
Statistics from the United Nations show that there are seven million Asian people who are HIV-positive. With economic development in the Mekong River region, AIDS has become one of the most dangerous threats to these countries.
Problems in the region such as drug taking, prostitution and unsafe blood supplies all contribute to the spread of the disease, the experts said.
The experts also held exchanges on educational cooperation in the field of AIDS prevention.
Seven years ago, the Chinese Red Cross Association and the Red Cross Association of Australia initiated the Young Partner Education Project. So far, more than 20,000 people have received education on AIDS prevention through the project's 700 training programs.
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