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School for HIV kids takes aim at discrimination
update:May 28,2021

Participants and guests at the annual luncheon aimed at eliminating discrimination against people with AIDS. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
May 28, 2021 -- Government officials, medical experts and entrepreneurs gathered at Linfen Red Ribbon School on Monday to have lunch together with students infected with HIV and to make a donation.
The annual luncheon was founded in 2012 by Guo Xiaoping, principal of the school, and has been held ever since, aiming to reduce discrimination against HIV carriers and promoting HIV-related knowledge.
"No friends to play with and not able to go to school were shared problems faced by kids infected with HIV," Guo said.
In 2006, Guo, who used to be head of Linfeng Third People's Hospital, founded Linfen Red Ribbon School to provide an education for children born with HIV.
"I'm glad to see the improvement of children's physical and psychological condition over the years," said Hao Yang, chairman of the Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control. Hao recalled one of the kids from the school he treated years ago whose skin had many sores because of the disease and was happy to see her grown up and healthy.
Discrimination against people with AIDS still exists, making it difficult to identify potential carriers and deliver effective treatment, said Zhang Yinjun, director of the AIDS Prevention Education Project for Chinese Youth.
Last year, the project expanded its Youth Love Workshop at Linfen Red Ribbon School, providing sex education and free medical examinations to students.
During the luncheon, a donation of 200,000 yuan ($30,000) was made by a well-known CCTV personality known as Sister Juping.
Since the school's founding, more than 15 students have been admitted by colleges.
"With more efforts from people like us, I hope discrimination against AIDS will gradually be eliminated, and kids will live a normal and better life," Guo said.

Students from Linfen Red Ribbon School select reading materials. [Photo by Ye Zizhen/For chinadaily.com.cn]
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