Young HIV-pos­i­tive man is host­ing talk show to ed­u­cate

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHAN JUAN in Bei­jing shan­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The 2016 World AIDS Day on Thurs­day will be a bit dif­fer­ent for Liu Shi, a 24-year-old gay man, who is HIV-pos­i­tive.

He will host a talk show about his own ex­pe­ri­ence and HIV/AIDS pre­ven­tion in a tem­po­rary glass room set up in a plaza in San­l­i­tun, a bustling com­mer­cial district in Bei­jing. The show will also be avail­able live-stream­ing on­line.

“I feel a bit up­set now, since there are usu­ally lots of peo­ple in that area and they can see me through the glass,” said Liu Shi, who works full time at a pri­vate non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides sup­port for AIDS pa­tients in the cap­i­tal.

Liu learned of his HIV-pos­i­tive sta­tus in 2012, and since grad­u­at­ing from an oc­cu­pa­tional school has worked for NGOs to com­bat HIV/AIDS stereo­types and dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“Some­one like me in the com­mu­nity has to stand out, pro­vid­ing a voice for pa­tients,” he said on Wed­nes­day.

Wu Zun­you, head of the Na­tional Cen­ter for AIDS and Sex­u­ally Trans­mit­ted Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, co-or­ga­nizer of the San­l­i­tun event, said Liu’s brav­ery will de­liver the mes­sage to pro­tect your­self against HIV, par­tic­u­larly to young peo­ple.

As of Septem­ber, there were 654,000 peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS in China, and 201,000 deaths, ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter.

The cen­ter has alerted the pub­lic to in­creas­ing HIV trans­mis­sions among the young. In the first nine months of the year, 2,321 stu­dents aged 15 to 24 tested pos­i­tive for HIV, a num­ber 4.1 times greater than in 2010.

“At a sex­u­ally ac­tive age, they are aware of HIV/AIDS but their lim­ited knowl­edge of dis­ease pre­ven­tion has failed to pro­vide enough pro­tec­tion,” Wu said.

While most new trans­mis­sions are among gay males, Wu also urged school au­thor­i­ties to be more open and pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion to both male and fe­male stu­dents.

Liu said that for a long time, HIV/AIDS ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try high­lighted only the fear and des­per­a­tion sur­round­ing the con­di­tion, which “failed to de­liver the key preven­tive mes­sages to young men like my­self.”

On Thurs­day, Liu said be­sides shar­ing such mes­sages, his ap­pear­ance would have an­other pos­i­tive ef­fect.

“They can see me, an AIDS pa­tient who’s been in treat­ment for four years, still young, en­er­getic, healthy and with great hope for the fu­ture,” he said.

Liu said he also will talk about fight­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion. “De­spite grow­ing so­cial tol­er­ance, AIDS re­lated dis­crim­i­na­tion still runs ram­pant here.”

Hav­ing been de­nied med­i­cal treat­ment be­fore, Liu said he still hides his sta­tus when see­ing a doc­tor.

Dis­crim­i­na­tion makes peo­ple avoid HIV test­ing and timely treat­ment, and that un­der­mines the na­tion’s over­all AIDS bat­tle, Wu said.

Liu said: “I hope I will be nicely treated to­mor­row. So­cial norms can­not be changed overnight. But when I am old, I can say I’ve tried.”

ZHANG ZHENGYOU / FOR CHINA DAILY

Ele­men­tary school stu­dents cam­paign on Tues­day. in Dong­hai county in Jiangsu province crafted red rib­bons as part of an HIV/AIDS pre­ven­tion

Liu Shi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.