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S. Korean volunteers stage campaigns marking World AIDS Day

12-02-2010 09:14 BJT

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Marking the World AIDS Day on Wednesday, a string of campaigns took place in Seoul to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and help stop the spread of the deadly disease.

Despite the cold weather, dozens of people launched a campaign in front of a shopping complex in Dongdaemun, one of the most crowded places in Seoul, to tackle prejudice against HIV/AIDS.

Volunteers and activists from a group of NGOs handed out condoms along with pamphlets containing information about the disease. They also offered free counseling on HIV/AIDS related issues.

Some HIV-positive people also took part in the campaign, with the hope that the event helps promote a better understanding of the disease among the public.

"There still exists misunderstanding or discrimination against the disease and those living with HIV infection. Therefore, I think AIDS is a disease that places a burden on the heart and creates social prejudice, and it has a long way to go to be better understood," said Lee In-kyu, director of PL support team at the Korean Alliance to Defeat AIDS.

Many passers-by showed interest in the campaign. "I had prejudice against AIDS but now such thought has disappeared after observing this campaign," said Jo Hyun-ji, a 19-year-old student.

Another campaign was held in the heart of Seoul by an NGO called Medipeace. NGO members shouted slogans calling for the public's attention on the disease. They were holding posters with messages stressing the need to combat prejudice against HIV/AIDS. The group has been conducting the campaign annually to raise awareness about the disease.

December 1 marked the 23rd anniversary of World AIDS Day, which commemorates the 25 million people who have died from the disease since it was discovered in 1981.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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