The UN Secretary General visits Red Ribbon Centre Beijing

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The UN Secretary General visits Red Ribbon Centre Beijing

09 July 2008

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During his official visit to China, the UN
Secretary General and his wife Madame
Yoo Soon-taek paid a visit to Ditan hospital
in Beijing. Photo: UNAIDS

During his official visit to China, the UN Secretary General and his wife Madame Yoo Soon-taek paid a visit to Ditan hospital in Beijing on 2 July to discuss a range of issues with people living with HIV and meet the staff and volunteers who work at the hospital.

The Beijing Ditan hospital, established in 1946, specializes in infectious diseases and is one of China’s leading institutions providing treatment and care for people living with HIV. Affiliated with the hospital is the Red Ribbon Centre which compliments the hospital’s work by providing care and psychological support to people living with HIV.

The centre provides a number of services including information, HIV testing and counselling, as well as training for volunteers and a legal aid system to advise people living with HIV. It is a place where HIV positive people can network, and above all, be themselves without fear of stigma.

During his visit the Secretary General said that HIV remained at the top of his agenda and praised the work of the volunteers at the Red Ribbon Centre. In his conversations with those living with HIV he was keen to discuss how stigma and discrimination impacts their lives, an issue he covered in his recent remarks at General Assembly High-level Meeting on AIDS New York on 10 June 2008.

A mother, who gave birth three weeks ago and who is HIV positive was one of the people with whom the Secretary General met. They discussed how testing positive for HIV had influenced her life, her current health status and the treatment she and her baby receive in Ditan hospital.

The Secretary General and Madame Yoo Soon-taek were accompanied on the visit by officials representing the UN in China.