Activists in Asia Commemorate World AIDS Day

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Wednesday was World AIDS Day. Activists in Asia held events to raise awareness about AIDS---and HIV, the virus that causes it.

People across Asia marked World AIDS day on Wednesday with rallies, marches and events.

In Bangkok, the Thai Red Cross spearheaded campaigns and hundreds marched through the streets.

[Dr. Praphan Phanuphak, AIDS Research Center, Thai Red Cross]:
"It is a governmental policy to reduce the annual new infection rate to half next year. It is everyone's responsibility to achieve that. Especially to find and convince those infected persons who don't know that they are infected, to be aware of themselves. These infected people can get medical help that can stop the spread of HIV."

In Beijing, students from two international high schools gathered.

They distributed more than 4,000 ribbons and specially designed posters, and spoke with local residents about AIDS prevention.

[Shi Yuanxin, Student]:
"We want to tell everyone about the dangers of AIDS so that there is awareness and prevention."

Zeng Jinyan, wife of jailed human rights and AIDS activist Hu Jia, was the manager of one AIDS clinic. It has since been shut down by authorities over tax issues on donations.

[Zeng Jinyan, Hu Jia's Wife]:
"They have a lot of work to do. One of them being, in terms of policies, they should relax their restrictions on private organizations, and allow self-serving
and mutually-cooperative groups to solve their own problems."

AIDS infections have risen in China, with more than 370,000 confirmed cases at the end of October, and more than 68,000 deaths.

In the Philippines, health organizations and HIV/AIDS sufferers banded together in a street known as one of the red light districts in Manila.

[Dr. Diana Mendoza, Manila Health Department]:
"We're going to create awareness today so that we can renew our commitments in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

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