Chinese President Hu Jintao has met and shaken hands with AIDS patients at a Beijing hospital.
State media say Mr. Hu told the patients Tuesday that China must end all discrimination and estrangement towards those suffering from HIV and AIDS.
The hospital visit is believed to be the first time Mr. Hu has met publicly with AIDS patients since becoming president last year.
China estimates it has 840,000 people living with HIV or AIDS on the mainland, although some experts believe there are many more. The World Health Organization has warned that China could face as many as 10-million patients by 2010 unless Beijing strengthens efforts to address the epidemic.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.