TIANJIN, Feb. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- North China's Tianjin Municipality is making HIV/AIDS prevention education compulsory for students in high schools, vocational schools and colleges.
Junior high-school students will have six lessons on AIDS prevention education a year, senior high school students will have four, vocational school students will have four to six and university students will have two, according to the local education and health bureaus.
Experts believe the lessons will help young students learn how to protect themselves from AIDS as figures show they are becoming more vulnerable to the deadly disease.
Statistics released late last year by the China Teenager and Youth Research Center and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League indicate young people are under threat of contracting the AIDS virus as the disease is spreading from the most at-risk groups to the general population.
Condom vending machines will be installed in college hospitals and HIV behaviour supervision sites will be set up on college campuses. Schools libraries must stock various books on HIV/AIDS prevention and posters are to be displayed around campuses.
Students with AIDS or from AIDS-struck poor families will have their tuition fees reduced by half and students orphaned by AIDS will have free schooling.
China has recently issued its first official guidelines on how to prevent and control the spread of the AIDS virus, including calling governments above county level to promote AIDS education in high schools, vocational schools and colleges.
China's Ministry of Health said on Feb. 21 that the country reported 144, 089 HIV carriers by the end of 2005.
The latest assessment jointly issued by the ministry, the World Health Organization and United Nations AIDS Program estimated there are 650,000 HIV carriers, including 75,000 AIDS patients, in China. Enditem