Although only 6% of our sponsored students are HIV-positive, the majority having been born before their parents contracted HIV, these 6% still need to be taken care of, and we aim at breaking the chain of HIV infection.
In 2005, prior to the 2006 launch of antiretroviral treatment (for fighting HIV infection) for AIDS patients by the Chinese government, the Clinton Foundation donated 200 sets of antiretroviral drugs for use by children mainly in Henan, Shanxi, and Yunnan provinces. Chi Heng received 86 sets of these and used them on 86 HIV-infected children. We hired professionals with nursing/medical backgrounds to make periodic visits to the children’s homes, to monitor the administration of their medication, any reaction to the medication or side effects, as well as changes in their health throughout the medication period. As of today, among this first batch of antiretroviral drugs recipients, only 11 have passed away (1 from accident and the others from complications), but the rest are survivors, with most either having graduated from school and in the workforce or still pursuing their education.
An even more encouraging statistic is that 52 pairs of Chi Heng-sponsored HIV-positive students have completed their education and got married to each other. 32 of these couples have now given birth to HIV-free children.
HIV/AIDS and general hygiene education
Since 2000, Chi Heng Foundation has conducted over 100 seminars on HIV/AIDS education and prevention, aiming to deliver correct knowledge about HIV/AIDS and promote anti-discrimination. These seminars are aimed at high risk individuals, including intravenous drug users, sex workers, homosexuals, etc. as well as college students. To date, over 2,000 people have attended our seminars.
We realized that many students in rural village lack personal hygiene knowledge, so we started disseminating such knowledge in recent years in the following ways:
We provide classes on personal hygiene through our Volun-online program, to date benefitting 200 secondary students.
We co-operated with schools to conduct seminars and workshops for their students, to date benefitting 600 students.