World AIDS Day on Nov 1, 2003 is approaching, just as AIDS itself approaching ourselves.
Via Sina.com.cn, I learnt there are 1 million HIV carriers in China, which means there is one AIDS patient among every 1300 people. It is predicted that the number of AIDS patients will rise greatly in the next five years.
I first learnt AIDS from a campaign on AIDS in Luoyang when I was only 15 years old (in 1987?). The knowledge of AIDS and how to prevent it were displayed on the board on the central square. However, I never saw such kind of campaign again. Now in Shanghai, it is reported that there are 685 AIDS patient in Shanghai – I don’t believe in the number. I saw the astonishing news that half of the caught 26 chief in Hangzhou were tested to be HIV carrier.
I really begin to worry about the society now. The recent horrible mass killer was caught after he killed 60+ people in the last two years. Also, another one just killed 20+ children before he was caught. What astonishing news! It is much more serious than SARS.
Besides AIDS, SARS and the massive killing criminal, suicide is also a society problem. 0.28 million people successfully commit suicide every year in China and another 2 million people try suicide but fail every year. That means one person kills himself/herself every two minutes in China.
Without a strong religious common belief, it is really a hard time now for China.
I think that SARS showed the government that education is their best tool against many of these problems. By educating the public on SARS prevention tactics, SARS was defeated quicker, now the public must learn about HIV as well, especially outside of the large cities. As for suicides I don’t feel that there is an easy answer, only that parents, teachers, coworkers, etc. need to better understand the warning signs and how to step in to prevent suicide, though I don’t think anyone has been able to perfect these tactics yet, it may help to lessen the problem a little. I think Religion isn’t the only answer, just one that has been used elsewhere.
I really enjoy reading your blog!
I just discovered your blog via Google last week. Really enjoy your “fact based” writing.
I went to an university in Shanghai from 85 to 89. It was most memorable and exciting years in my life. Shanghai always holds a very special place for me.
Currently I am living in States. Your writing gives me a very objective and interesting view of what an average techno yuppie’s life likes in china.
Regarding your concern about AIDS, Suicides and mass murder. I think those are all just part of the human conditions. Every place on the earth has its own sets of problems, it does not matter you have religion or not. On the way back to home, I usually listen to a NPR (National Public Radio) talk show. At the end of the show, the host always said “keep the faith”. I guess that is all it matters.
Nice comment. Welcome to get back frequently.