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Discrimination Targeted on World Aids Day


Chinese students show a handmade red ribbon one day ahead of the the World AIDS Day, 30 Nov 2009

Calls to end discrimination rang out across the globe Tuesday as countries marked World AIDS Day.

Calls to end discrimination rang out across the globe Tuesday as countries marked World AIDS Day.

South Africa, the nation worst affected by the pandemic, rolled out a new battle plan to defeat the virus.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma says his government will treat more AIDS patients and expand testing for HIV.

An estimated 5.7 million people in South Africa are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

More than 33 million people around the world are carrying the virus. China warned Tuesday that the occurrence of the virus among homosexuals is gaining pace. President Hu Jintao called on the public to not discriminate against those with HIV.

In the South Korean capital, protesters filed a petition with the country's human rights watchdog seeking an end to mandatory HIV tests for some foreign workers.

On Monday, White House officials said a longtime ban on HIV-positive visitors to the United States will be lifted early next year.

Washington also announced its plans to host the International AIDS Conference in 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday President Barack Obama is dedicated to enhancing America's leadership in the fight against global AIDS.

The previous administration of President George W. Bush began the process of lifting the HIV ban for visitors, which as been in effect for 22 years.

The ban is expected to be lifted on January 4, 2010. The conference is scheduled for July 2012.

The International AIDS Society said in a statement Monday the new U.S. entry policy for people living with HIV reflects the country's key role in global efforts to combat AIDS. The U.S. last hosted the conference in 1990.

The United Nations says that last year, at least 33.4 million people globally were living with HIV and that 2.7 million new infections were reported. The U.N. also says two million deaths were due to AIDS last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.