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Unique challenges


W ITH its inhospitable terrain,
scattered population, underde-
veloped communications net-

for IT in Mongolia
work, and isolation from other countries,
Mongolia is hardly associated with the 3
Internet and technological development.
But Mongolia is well aware of the im-
portance of the Internet and Information
Technology, and the government is plan-
ning various IT initiatives, said Suren-
guin Badral, foreign policy adviser to the
Government to learn from Malaysia's IT initiatives
Prime Minister of Mongolia.
Internet connectivity and expansion of IT
The government hopes that IT will help
development to rural areas.
Mongolia get past its isolation from other However, APDIP usually contributes
countries and improve communications technical expertise and not hardware, ac-
between its own citizens. cording to Grimellet.
As with most countries in the region, Grimellet also notes that countries like
Mongolia's IT development is concentrat- Malaysia do not really need- the help of
ed in major Cities. Badral said the govern- APDIP because of the government's in-
ment is trying to increase IT development volvement in IT development.
in rural areas. 'Malaysia is practically self-sufficient
"We also want to increase contact with when it comes to IT, mainly because of its
other countries and share our experiences Multimedia Super Corridor projects and
with each other," he said. foreign investments," he said.
Mongolia is located in Northern Asia, APDIP has a close relationship with the
and is landlocked between China and Malaysian government, and sometimes
Russia (see map). draws on the country's technical knowl-
The country is composed of vast semi- edge and experience with IT initiatives,
desert and desert plains, and has moun- Grimellet said.
tains in the west and south-west, and the APDIP, based in Kuala Lumpur and o
Gobi Desert in the south-east covering 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific 7?
Although Mongolia has an area of region, promotes the use of IT to foster
l,565,000sq km (nearly five times the social and economic development.
area of Malaysia), it has a population of For more information, contact APDIP
only 2.36 million. at (03) 255-9122, by fax at (03) 253-9740
With fewer than two persons per or visit its website at Tvww.mys.undp.
square kilometre, Mongolia is among the org/opdip/.
most sparsely populated countries in the Map courtesy of the Perry-Castarieda Library Map Collection
world. In contrast, Malaysia has a popula- (

(See next page)
I li III i l r i i M l y <>( ill "Mil 111 pOntOllH |K'I Si | monopoly, and the country resentative from the private sector, for
km. has only one ISP, according to Badral. the seminar. The seminar was held from
Another major challenge is close to half "We're looking into deregulation and
the population in Mongolia is nomadic, opening up the market," he said.
March 23-26 at Wisma UN and the dele-
gates hoard presentations from Mimos,
Mongolia on the Net
according to Batlral. Learning from Malaysia MDC, and various other companies. Mongolia-related links at Yahoo
"Because of these geographic and soci- Mongolia can learn from Malaysia's IT They were briefed on a variety of Inter-
etal conditions, it is not economically fea- initiative and use some ideas for its own1 net-related tonics including Internet ar- tries/Mongolia/
sible to lay land lines," he said. , , nations T programme, said representa- hitecture, r (atoms, and other issue*
Therefore. Mongolia is looking into »«t- lives from the Mongolian government. Badral said the Mongolian government Ministry of External Relations of
ellite and wireless technology to get past Badral and other Mongolian represen- is very interested in the various IT initia- Mongolia
these hurdles. Some nomads already have tatives wen; recently in Malaysia to at- tives in this region. "We're looking into www.mongoliaonluic.nm/mer/
the technology to receive satellite signals, tend iin IT seminar organised by the Asia- the IT initiatives of Various countries in
Badral said. "A fair number of nomads al- Pacific Development Information Pro- this region so we can leam from their cx- National Geographic information about
ready carry satellite dishes with thcr o gramme ' \PDIP). eriences a mistakes, and also save Mongolia'
they can watch TV," he said. APDi .s developed and funded by the cost and time, he said.
Internet growth in Mongolia has also United Nations Development Programme APDIP aid sources/ngo/mnps/attas/asia/mon
been slowed because there is a telecom- (UNDP) and is aimed at promoting sus-x Gabriel Accascina, Programme Manag- gol.hlml
tainable human development by improv- er for APDIP, said the seminar is the first
ing access to information. of a series tailored for government offi- Mongolia Resource Page
Technosys Sdn Bhdiwwij-o)'-". ,'Y: -, -• -\. Badral was impressed by the Malay-
NehvorK'rj. Upgrade. Ma.r'enjcice and Rental are avaitabte cials in developing countries who need to
sian government's IT initiatives and said design and implement IT policies.
Subing Parade ,LO Floor, n**r Gutrditn.3 • 12 AptH Mongolia could adapt some of the ideas
Cmnon RotdShow.Buklt Rtjl, Kling 10- 11 April
"We provide information that will Asia-Pacific Development Information
for its own purposes. enable them to plan, at an early stage, on Programme (APDIP)
T«hnoiy«Sup«rV«lu«MPCP»ck»g« gy "By learning from Malaysia's experi-
FV*um TX Pro bo«id St2 KB. IBM200MX 22SO
how their country will participate in the
wjsxz-z'stsx* sssgssg ss
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ences we hope to leapfrog other countries
in terms of technology," he said.
Badral and other government represen-
global dialogue through IT," he said.
APDIFs aid can help
countries maximise
14' SVG* Monflor (digilal] tatives are part of a working group advis- resources, decrease
T.chnoty«Twltt«i Pentium II PC
Fvnnwn II LX440 txwd
au ing the Mongolian government on assess-
ment, policies and implementation of IT
expenditure and obtain
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22 MS SO HAM 2 5 OB HarddMl PenliumM206 3999 strategies. er time, according to
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mation Technology Council (N1TC), Ba- gramme advisor for
Technosyi Offic* Pacfcag* BU
SIS TX board.SlZKB cache IBM 200MMX 2699 dral said. APDIP said the pro-
te MB EDO RAM. Pentium 233MMX Badral was accompanied by six other gramme also helps less-
2.1/2.5 GB Halddisk.
government representatives and one rep- developed countries with
1.« MB Olive
14" Likom Monitor (digital)
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«3>1 Jn 3W6O Dm. hn«M.ia Trt M71N8 mt IkngOpc jjiirgjny THE OLD AND THE NEW • Despite clinging to ancient traditions like horsemanship and seasonal migration, nomadic Mongolians are gradually
20 Jin Nangka 2 T.n» Runvwn B*ta(». 7S150 Hihki W CW-3CMOMS accepting modern technologies such as vehicles and computers.
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Information *
and tecHrioioay

UB Post 28-10-97

Philippine conference
tackles Asia's AIDS crisis
Mongolians attend for the first time
By David SOUTH in Manila unsafe sexual behaviour is the Research Centre for
the STD rate. I am im- Infectious Diseases, Health

ore than 2,500 pressed at the sustained Ministry representative Dr.
delegates have decline in STD rates in S. Enkhbat, Medical
gathered in the Australia. Hong Kong, University director Dr.
steamy hot Philippine Singapore and Thailand Lkhagvasuren and Dr.
capital to renew the fight over the past decade. Darisuren from the United
against HIV and AIDS. , "But I am concerned Nations Population Fund.
Working up a sweat actual declines in HIV in Also in the team are
alongside other par- this region have occurred Democrat MPs B. Delger-
ticipants at the Fourth only in Australia, New maa and Saikhanbileg,
International Congress on Zealand and Thailand." UNICEF's B. Bayarmaa and
AIDS in Asia and the The countries to Mon- two representatives from
Pacific are nine Mongolians golia's immediate south women's NGOs: S.
— a first that isn't going and north are experiencing Tsengelmaa from the
unnoticed. exploding health crises. In Women's Information and
The Congress opened China, HIV/AIDS is in- Research Centre and N.
Saturday (October 25) to creasing at a rapid rate due Chinchuluun, executive
the pounding beat of a to factors including director of the Mongolian
theme song performed by growing prostitution, drug Women Lawyers Assoc-
teenagers, championing use and travel -- all • iation.
defiance of death and byproducts of a booming On Sunday, several
celebration of life. economy. The infected presentations focused on
That tone of hope was population is estimated at the difficulties of getting
echoed by Dr. Peter Piot, 400,000 and is expected people to use condoms.
executive director of to reach 1.2 million by the In Fiji, studies found the
UNAIDS, the Joint United year 2000, according to majority of the population
Nations Programme on China's national AIDS was aware of AIDS and
HIV/AIDS. He said the committee. had access to condoms,
epidemic can be slowed To the north in Russia, but still chose not to use
down with the right public a complete collapse in the them.
health measures — a pos- public health system has Lisa Enriquez, a Filipino
itive message for Mongolia dramatically slashed life woman who is HIV-
as it grapples with an STD expectancy and led to an positive, gave a sobering
~ cTfsiT tfiarTnany"beTre~ve upSuTgeTnTfiany diseases, speech on the epidemic.
leaves the country at risk including tuberculosis and "One of the most im-
of an HIV/AIDS epidemic. HIV/AIDS-. portant things I've learned
The magnitude of that With many Mongolians from this epidemic is
epidemic outside Mongolia doing business in both human nature. AIDS is
is startling. Around the these countries, there are such a humanizing disease.
world, 23 million people numerous opportunities for It reminds us of being
are infected with HIV, the AIDS to enter the country. human, complete with all
virus that causes AIDS. A wide range of topics the weaknesses and
Between 5 and 7 million of is under discussion at the imperfections of being
them live in the Asia/ gathering, with women, human.
Pacific region. youth and STD-control Let us not kid
"The point is that pre- measures of particular ourselves; changing be-
vention is feasible," Piot interest to the Mongolian haviour is not easy. One
told the Congress. "The delegates. doesn't change because
results can be seen in For the Mongolians, the somebody tells him or her
those countries in the Asia- Congress is an opportunity to do so.
Pacific region where the to learn from other "We will need to flat
epidemic has stalled or is countries' successes and our act together, in-
in retreat. failures in the fight against stitutionalize our efforts
"A good indicator for AIDS. and continue working •
Mongolia's nine-mem- harder with passion and
ber delegation includes perseverance."
four doctors — Dr. K. The Congress con-
Davaajav, head of the tinues until October 30.
AIDS/STD Department of
UB Post 06-11-97

Conference says Mongolia
can't ignore AIDS
Nation poised between crisis and opportunity, delegates hear
«. L- DELGBW1AA if g time M open up ting
closad topic. ,
And amd Iha ten-
sion! of Mongolia's ec-
he Mongolian and the onomic and social

T delegates to the
rourth International
•= ice on AIDS in Asia
transition, prostitution is
burgeoning. The congress
heard that lack of gov-
ernment attention to health
e Pacific who met
t - s at Ulaanbaatar's care, especially among this
vulnerable sector of the
-.-Jkhaa airport on
population, has left many
r 31 carried the
:s that this country developing countries with
little chance to control the
o longer afford to
spread of HIV and other
the global AIDS
sexually transmitted dis-
Each day, about eases.
Mongolian dele-
oeople around the
gates heard that recent
become infected
IV, the virus that moves to mandatory
testing are not such a good
Mongolia's first
in the biennial The Asia-Pacific
- held October 25 country that has had the
29 in the Philippine most success slowing
down the AIDS epidemic is
tat s* Manila — comes
Australia. It's also home to
i =/ne when the country
jr j knife-edge. There's some of thu strongest
ti a low rate of HIV supporters of human rights.
Delegates (l-r) Davaajav, Darisuuren, Delgermaa and Enkhbat meet the press in Manila.
d. or* in this country, Outspoken Australian High
brothels. This, means there again and again at the condom use as almost zero Court Justice Michael Kirby
Woogolia has a chance worldwide - problem that
affects young and old alike.. should be prevention for all Congress was the difficulty for sex workers in Cavite is one of them.
pr.snt its spread. But
the public, not just for in changing people's be- City. The main obstacle is "Paradoxically
e-<xrt quick and effective "Wa must show
women and sax workers." haviour. always men — women enough, the only way we
^er AIDS cases could Mongolians that HIV is not
In June, Mongolia Altunchimeg recent- want condoms but men will deal effectively with
>O3€ within a very short very far from them," says
Dr. Altunchimeg, one of signed a Memorandum of ly completed a two-month reject it. It doesn't satisfy the problem of the rapid
Understanding with UN- study of sex workers in the them." spread of this epidemic in
""hat's the case in nine Mongolian delegates
AIDS, the United Nations Manila red-light district of American researcher our region is by respecting
gr souring Russia, where to the congress. "We have
AIDS body, outlining a two- Cavite City, which found K. Mayer from Brown Uni- and protecting the human
=3N4p&e in public health to say AIDS is an inter-
year programme to combat that most didn't use versity felt the best rights of those who are
: *• ng standards has national problem because
HIV and AIDS. condoms, despite their weapon would be a topical already exposed to the
r: infection rates of tourism, migration for
At Government availability and public microbicide • a cream that virus and those most at
- :;<eting. China, to work and business. All of
House on Wednesday health campaigns. is used in the vagina to kill risk."
rc-t*a's south, is also this places us at risk to get
(November S), Mongolian It's like telling pe- off the HIV virus Altunchimeg agrees
ETS a sharp increase in infection."
delegates will release a 10- ople to stop smoking The congress stres- that Mongolia will be
5 cases. S. Tsengelmaa of
point manifesto outlining because it is bad for them sed the importance of making a big mistake if it
Mongolia has only Ulaanbaatar's Women's
their response to the AIDS — wherever pleasure educating the young. uses health measures that
-3e-itified AIDS patient, Information and Research
crisis. conflicts with good sense, Mongolia, which has so far violate human rights.
- :*egates stressed the Centre, agrees Mongolians
Although the con- pleasure wins out. been spared the brunt of "If Mongolia intends
urw needs to take can't be complacent about
ference addressed advan- "Condom use is not the AIDS crisis, still has i to do any mandatory test-
i»-y TO tackle the disease. AIDS.
ces in diagnosis and such an acceptable meth- long way to go. Mongolia ing, they won't gat any
-3 ;~:e seemed to be a "So many Mongol-
treatment, the focus od," says Altunchimeg. "In has no tradition of talking funding from international
cff~i only for medical ians go abroad for illegal
work," she says. "In Seoul remains on prevention. reality, they are often not about sex to youth, but organizations," she says
^t- zations is now is
One theme raised used. My study has shown there's now a feeling that bluntly.
- ;-wide - indeed, all the Mongolians go to the

Northeast Asian conference vows "d

regional cooperation on HIV and AIDS
ne hundred South Korea, there are is visible, it's too late." notice. Last month it mandatory testing. He said instills fear, he said.
Mongolians rapidly rising numbers of There are indicators established a high-profile both South Korea and "Testing doesn't
may be in- sexually transmitted dis- that governments in the National AIDS Committee, China had abandoned change behavior."
fected with the AIDS virus. eases," said Bruce Pamell, region are waking up to the headed by the Prime Min- widespread mandatory The Ulaanbaatar meet-
That figure - far more than an adviser at Australia's reality that AIDS can hap- ister. testing though it is still ing discussed a three-year
the single case identified to Macfarlane Burnet Centre pen here. Conference participants employed in China in some regional action plan against
date - was the estimate for Medical Research. As recently as 1990, stressed that Mongolia, circumstances." HIV and AIDS. The inter-
•of the World Health Org- "If people already have China denied it had an which has been spared "The central policy in country project, which has
anization during a confer- a sexually transmitted AIDS epidemic. Last week, much of the brunt of the China is not to do man- its headquarters in
ence' on HIV and AIDS in disease, it makes it much authorities more than worldwide AIDS epidemic, datory testing," noted Tim Mongolia, is funded by
Northeast Asia held last easier for the HIV virus to doubled their estimate of has an almost unique Mackay, regional manager S400.000 from UNDP.
Week in Ulaanbaatar. pass. the number of HIV cases in chance to stop the disease of the HIV and Develop- The conference's sug-
The three-day meeting, "So the chance of HIV the country, to 200,000. from spreading. ment project of the United gestions, which focus on
which drew delegates from spreading quickly once it "Leaders in all three But that desire has led Nations Development Pro- involving a wide variety of
.Mongolia, China and South enters these countries is countries are committed to to calls among health au- gramme. government sectors and
Korea, was designed to very high." doing something about thorities for mandatory Knowledge is power, NGOs in the fight against
craft a regional response to That makes effective AIDS," said Parnell. "That's testing as a way of iden- stressed Parnell, who AIDS, must be approved by
the epidemic. AIDS education and pre- not the case in many coun- tifying those who carry the encouraged "activities to all three governments.
. The countries have vention in these countries tries." virus. Some mandatory re-establish a surveillance Tentative approval is a
many features in common-, especially urgent, experts In Mongolia, where only testing was carried out on system in Mongolia. But we Iready in place.
as well as close ties. Many say. one AIDS case has been women in Ulaanbaatar last don't want to encourage "It's likely approval will
Mongolians travel:to both "It's hard to get people identified, the true reach of month. governments' to force take place by the end of th«
China and South Korea for to do much about an epi- the disease is unknown. Parnell said the con- people to be tested." year," said Parnnll.
trade or work. demic before it's visible," But here, too the gov- ference contained some Mandatory testing is
"In China, Mongolia and noted Pamell. "But once it ernment is taking more "minor discussion" of ineffective, expensive and
AIDS scare brings reality of
epidemic home to Mongolians "S

ealth officials and or- prevention seriously. a day and have had to ex-
dinary Mongolians are Now the risk of the dis- tend our hours.
facing up to the real- ease is being brought home "People are coming to the
ity of the global AIDS epi- forcefully. centre voluntarily," he stres-
demic this week with the A round-up of Ulaan- ses, saying the Centre will
news that an HIV-positive baatar prostitutes last week focus on educating the public
Cameroon man may have revealed four women who and distributing condoms to
had sex with several Ulaan- claimed to have had sex with high-risk groups. "We want
baatar prostitutes. a Cameroon man who has to prevent the spread of the
Since 1992, officials tested positive for HIV. virus and make people recog-
have trumpeted the statistic According to the women's nize the danger."
that there is only one regi- evidence, they subsequently He says the Centre will
stered AIDS case in the had sex with 56 men, from demand the government
country. But international . both Ulaanbaatar and the bring in a law about those
organizations have sounded countryside. who knowingly pass the
a warning that the country The women are being AIDS virus to others.
is not isolated and cannot be treated in the Infectious The infected man is one
complacent. Diseases Hospital for a of two Cameroon citizens
This autumn the World variety of STDs. The results serving jailed after attempt-
Health Organization esti- of their HIV tests have not ing to bilk an Ulaanbaatar
mated the true number of been released. moneychanger of U.S.
cases might be 100. And at The news has led to a $30,000 last month. He is
the Fourth International rush of people wanting to be being kept in solitary con- VQ
Conference on AIDS in Asia tested for HIV. finement in Gants Khudag AIDS Centra's Kh. Davaajav: worried.
and the Pacific in Manila in "The Centre normally prison.
October, Mongolian dele- tests about 40 people a day, An inspection of 66 hos- The Health and Social budgets.
gates were warned that with but this number has in- pitals by the Infectious Security Ministry has issued All the syringes at Gants
skyrocketing HIV-infection creased," says Kh. Davaajav, Diseases Research Centre on a decree ordering all hospitals Khudag prison were de-
rates in neighbouring Russia director of the STD Care December 25 and 26 re- to use only disposable stroyed after reports the
and China and a high inci- Centre of the Centre for In- vealed that many did not syringes from January 1. Cameroon man had received
dence of STDs in this coun- fectious Diseases. "We've meet adequate standards of The move will be fi- shots of antibiotics.
try, Mongolia must take had as many as 160 people hygiene and sanitation. nanced out of local district

UB Post 05-11-97

Lamas Mongol Messenger 22-10-97

against AIDS City
this. People believe in
By David South
lamas." STD/HIV
ince HIV is Like their colleagues
contracted primarily
through sex, the
disease has always been a
in Thailand and Myanmar,
Cambodian lamas have
been in the forefront of
difficult subject for the AIDS education.
world's religious leaders. Lamas there use by D. Narantuya
When there is sex to be festivals and ceremonies to About 50 per cent of residents
discussed, no religion can raise the issue. of Ulaanbaatar between the ages of
do it without bringing up You Chan, a 30- 15 and 40 years underwent testing
morality. year-old lama from Tol for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
This moral debate Sophea Khoun monestary (STD) in Ulaanbaatar during the
first two weeks of October, accord-
about bedroom behaviour in Phnom Penh, likes to 'ing to Ulaanbaatar City health of-
has tainted discussion of raise the issue delicately, ficer, Y. Terbish.
AIDS in many countries. At by referring to diseases in Mr Terbish said the testing
the extreme end of the Buddha's time. programme would be extended
until the end of the month to cater
spectrum, some evan- "I feel it is difficult for those who "missed out" ini-
gelical Christian leaders in to speak about sexual tially.
the U.S. have painted AIDS methods with a large He said the final results of test-
as an apocalyptic ing would not be available until 1,
audience - 1 will not speak November
disinfectant for humanity. to sexual methods. A mayoral decree issued rn
Not surprisingly, this "At first, it was very July stated that all Ulaanbaatar
attitude has not helped in residents between 15 and 40 years
had to submit to compulsory STD
educating the faithful that and HIV testing during a campaign
AIDS can happen to from October 1-14. But according
anyone and its victims to the Mongolian Health Ministry,
should be treated like any the testing programme would be
carried out in all aimags and was
other ill person. not compulsory.
The Philippine con- However, the entrance to sev-
fefence heard that the eral city health centres contained
standoff between the notices warning residents that they
would be forced to undergo test-
world's religious leaders ing if they did not come voluntar-
and public health au- ily.
thorities must stop. Dr. Mr Terbish said these notices
were "a mistake" and such threats
should not be made publicly.
rector of UNAIDS, pointed.. At a press conference last
to the numerous delegates" week, The Mongol Messenger
from the world's religion's questioned Mr Terbish about the
number of secondary school stu-
and called on others to dents i n v o l v e d in t h e . t e s t i n g
follow their example. programme, but he refused to com-
"In Myanmar, the difficult. People would ask ment.
Myanmar Council of why a monk would say According to H. Davaajav, di-
rector of the MongolianAIDS Pre-
Churches, the YWCA and such things. But I tried and vention Centre, about 80 per cent
other community based tried and the people un- of the population used to be in-
organizations have joined derstood who is helping volved in STD testing.
"Since 1990, this testing has
hands with local au- them. ceased and there has been an in-
thorities, health workers "My message to crease in the number of unem-
and Buddhist groups for Mongolia's lamas is this: ployed and alcoholics, which in
community-based pre- you have a moral turn has caused an increase in
STDs," Mr Davaajav said.
vention, care and support responsibility to educate "Mongolia's first and only per-
programmes," he told the the people about AIDS, son with HIV was discovered- in
assembly. that it is happening all 1992, and since-that time the cen-
"This is the best around the world and there tre has tested 183,000 Mongolians.
"The centre tests are com-
practice in action." is no medicine to cure it. pletely confidential and purely on
Mongolian delegate "You have to take a voluntary basis.
Dr. Altunchimeg thinks a care in the name of "In addition, blood donors,
similar approach could Buddhism to help people in prostitutes, people with STDs, and
those going abroad must'undergo
work in this country. this world." an HIV test."
"Now every Mon- You Chan teaches In a bid to curb the spread of
golian goes to see lamas. lamas at 15 temples in STDs, the Mongolian Government
It's a good channel to is cooperating with UNAIDS.
Cambodia, who pass the This week visiting UNAIDS
advocate for AIDS ed- message along to other consultant, Astrid Richardson, dis-
ucation. In Thailand, lamas lamas and congregations. cussed ways of publicising ways
are very experienced at to stop STDs and HIV.

Mongol Messenger 15-07-98

UN jump starts
National Strategy
on AIDS project
ten seminars to be held over the
By D. Narantuya following three years. G.
Dulamsuren, the working group's
Mongolia's national strategy national coordinator indicates that
on STD, HIV, and AIDS project the first level 'Information Educa-
has been completed, announced tion Course Forum' on STDs, HIV,
the working group which initiated AIDS, terminology workshop and
it. rapid assessment workshop will be
"The strategy has an aim to organised by next October. The
organise lectures, create propa- second level activities will include
ganda to change the behaviour of Message Development Workshop,
the public as well as the target Materials Development Work-
group," said United Nations AIDS shop, Pretesting workshop, and
programme worker Nicholas Mass Media I EC Workshop.
Bates. Commercial sex workers,
The national strategy intends young adults, STD patients, truck
to unify organisations dealing in drivers, traders, businessmen,
STD, HIV, and AIDS. The strat- travellers, railway workers, and
egy will also train NGO and hos- street children are the chosen tar-
pital staff and promote awareness get group.
nationwide. It is conducted by the Condom marketing is another
Mongolian government, the UN, crucial element. "There is no re-
international and domestic search about this in Mongolia.
organisations, and the media. Distributing condoms to the pub-
UNAIDS has already created 11 lic and providing information
mini-pojects for local NGO's. about them is a complex yet nec-
"We are encouraged by the essary issue," said S. Enkhjargal,
growing number of NGO's, and coordinator of UNAIDS.
the direction they are headed. The world agrees that taking
However, we believe more local precautions is the most qualified
research should be conducted, method to stop spread of AIDS.
rather than just translating foreign With the support of UN
literature. We also hope to improve organisations, the Mongolian gov-
ties between NGO's, which for the ernment has begun an ambitious
most part work independently,"
said strategy advisor Sharon
Cohen. patients •
The plan foresees more than first in 19$2 and the second 1997.

UB Post 11-11-97

At last, Mongolia puts AIDS
on the front burner
tarting today governmental organ: prepared by Dr. Kh ments have long viewed guidelines on HIV/AIDS
(Tuesday, izations in Mongolia, Davaajav of the AIDS/ healthcare in authori- and human rights.
November 11), China and South Korea STD Department of the tarian terms. The Mongolian action
Mongolia plays host to a will meet to work out a Research Centre for In- As recently as this plan, with its commit-
regional workshop on regional response to HIV fectious Diseases and September, Ulaanbaatar ment to collaboration
HIV and AIDS for North- and AIDS. Delegates Dr. S. Enkhbat of the health authorities an- between government
east Asian nations. The from North Korea and Health Ministry is long on nounced a plan for man- and NGOs, often sounds
-three-day meeting in eastern Russia were not high-profile gestures, datory STD and HIV remarkably grassroots. It
Ulaanbaatar is a small- available to attend. including a televised testing of all female city talks about training vol-
scale but significant Further evidence of speech to the nation by residents between the unteers, about commun-
event — a signal that the the higher priority is the Prime Minister on ages of 15 and 40. ity participation, and
fight against the disease Mongolia's new National World AIDS Day De- That's the sort of proposes to "broaden
is about to take on a AIDS Committee, set up cember 1, a bid to pro- move that makes AIDS anonymous services for
much higher profile in on October 29 and head- claim 1998 AIDS year, activists, and interna- STD patients."
this country. ed by Prime Minister M. an annual selection of the tional donor organiza- And it contains some
In the wake of the Enkhsaikhan. Its mem- top awareness-raising tions, cringe. But after concrete measures: dis-
nation's first-ever par- bers include several cab- journalist and a children's the Philippine Congress, tribution of high-quality
ticipation in the biennial inet ministers and the competition. the delegates, including condoms — notably at
Conference on AIDS in mayor of Ulaanbaatar. These are the sort of senior Ministry of Health passport offices, railway
Asia and the Pacific - Mongolia's Manila gestures that don't cost figures, vowed to pro- stations and airports —
held last month in the delegates met last week much money. But the mote the 10-point Manila a survey of sexual
Philippine capital of to thrash out an action draft plan does signal a Manifesto. Among other attitudes among high-risk
Manila — delegates from plan against AIDS. shift in attitude in a things, it resolves to groups and an epidem-
government and non- A 20-point draft country where govern- uphold international iological survey.
Mandatory testing is
unacceptable: UNAIDS

HIV testing without in- evidence that mandatory linked to the test result must
formed consent and confi- testing achieved public not be done without the in-
dentiality is a violation of health goals. dividuals informed consent. era
human rights, according to "UNAIDS therefore dis- "In addition, he or she
UNAIDS in Mongolia. courages this practice," said should receive post-test
Chairman pf the Dr de Silva, who is also counselling and have the as-
UNAIDS Mongolia Theme World Health Organisation surance that all test results -
Group, Dr Susantha de Resident Representative in including the fact that a test
Silva, said that while testing Ulaanbaatar. was performed - will be kept
for surveillance purposes "HIV testing in which confidential."
was acceptable, there was no the individuals identity is However, after discus-
sions with Mongolian
Health Ministry officials, Dr
de Silva said he was confi-
dent the instruction had been
misinterpreted and that the
programme would go ahead
under the ministry's "screen-
ing" guidelines. UNAIDS Mongolia Theme Group chairman Dr
A UNAIDS statement, Susantha de Silva.
released after the mayor's
decision to introduce com- fering voluntary HIV testing should be secured and the
pulsory HIV and STD test- and counselling to people community should be in-
ing among Mongolian fe- who engage in high-risk volved in the survey and o
males in Ulaanbaatar, sexual or drug related have access to the results." (-*
stresses the need for good behaviour," it said. Health Minister L. Zorig O
quality voluntary and confi- "Community involve- has, been attending a World
dential HIV testing and ment in sentinel surveillance Health Organisation re-
counselling. and epidemiology surveys ional conference in
"Special consideration should be encouraged, how- §ydney, Australia, and was
should also be given to of- ever community consent unavailable for comment.

: STBs! ill
Mandatory AIDS tests spark controversy
Critic's claim government's plan wrong-headed and unworkable
By JILL LAWLESS eases Centre.* and inadequate condom
Asked why only women supply as contributing
The decision by were being tested, Terbish factors to a high rate of
Ulaanbaatar authorities to said testing of men would infection, and noted that a
im-plement mandatory HIV be organized as the next high STD rate is generally o
tests for women in the city stage in the programme, a precursor to an explosion
has provoked reaction though dates had not yet of AIDS cases. Estimating
ranging from skepticism to been set. that between 50 and 80
unease. He said the testing percent of sexually trans-
Health officials said last would be organized by mitted diseases in women
week that tests for sexually district health offices, and go untreated, it warned
transmitted diseases, in- police would assist local that Mongolia was on the
cluding AIDS, would be authorities in identifying verge of a dramatic
carried out in the first two and rounding up women. increase in HIV, and called
weeks of October on all "We hope there won't for 'awareness-raising,
female city residents be anyone who doesn't prevention and care
between the ages of 15 and want to take the test,' said programmes."
40. Terbish, who expressed the The focus of most AIDS
'There are 240,000 belief that it would be and STD programmes
women who must be possible to test all the around the world is on
tested," Y. Terbish, head of women without using education, prevention and Is plan to test 240,000 women a dangerous pipe dream?
the Ulaanbaatar City Health force. individual responsibility.
Office, told the UB Post on He said testing and International health and United Nations AIDS body. at U.S. $9.6 million. B u t used if women refused to
September 24. treatment would be con- human-rights organizations, While encouraging volun- some health and human- submit to the examination.
The testing is in line fidential, but not anon- including the United Na- tary testing accompanied rights advocates came out He stressed that sick
with a July 10 directive ymous The names of tions and World Health by counselling, it comes in support of the idea. women should be treated
from the Ministry of Health women who test positive Organization, were alarmed down firmly against 'We can't consider this and not penalized. But, he
and Social Welfare which for disease will not be by the implications of the mandatory tests. a human-rights violation," said, it would be necessary
said, "Aimag and Ulaan- released, and all will be government's sweeping *HIV testing without said N. Tsevegmid, director to take legal action against
baatar Governors are com- treated - by force if nec- move. informed consent and con- of the Mongolian Human those who refused to dis-
missioned to have the essary. Health authorities For the United Nations fidentiality is a violation of Rights Committee, who close the names of their o
population in the 15-40 age have already completed - which is set to launch a human rights," it says. also runs a private clinic sexual partners. o
group in their respective STD testing of secondary major AIDS programme in 'Moreover, there is no treating chronic diseases. "Such a cross-sectional
territories screened for school girls, and some conjunction with the Mon- evidence that mandatory "It is the normal work of examination must be done
sexually transmitted dis- mandatory testing is said to golian government - the testing achieves public public health organizations. because venereal disease is
eases in the third quarter of have been carried out in the announcement was em- health goals." It is done in all countries, increasing in the
1997, provide treatment to aimags. barrassingly ill-timed. Other critics believe the when it is necessary. population. To defend the
the affected and iheir Mongolia has a serious In response, the United scheme is both logistically "It is for the health of population, money must be
partners and report the STD problem. A UNICEF Nations Development and financially impossible - the women." He s aid it spent."
results to the AIDS/STD study published in May Programme reiterated the the UN has calculated the was "unavoidable' that
Unit of the Infectious Dis- cited low contraceptive use policy of UNAIDS, the cost of 250,000 HIV tests police would have to be

UB Post 22-10-97

Knowledge called power in fight
against STDs
Government unveils kinder, gentler anti-AIDS strategy
Education is they key to recent testing programrre. districts heard nothing. discovery is that fully half
combating sexually trans- Contrary to articles Testing was and — between 49 and 58 per
mitted diseases, govern- some newspapers, he said, remains voluntary, Terbish cent — are teenagers. On
ment health represent- the test for STDs and HIV said, though he avered that average, Mongolians
atives told journalists last were never meant to be some high-risk sectors of become sexually active at
week. compulsory. the population, including the age of 16 and a half.
The government of That counters his own street children and sex Acknowledging these
Mongolia recently statement to this and other workers, might require social factors, the gov-
launched a UN-backed publications that 240,000 compulsory tests. He ernment vowed to broaden
campaign to fight HIV, the women - all the female stressed that the focus of and strengthen its
virus which causes AIDS, residents of the city the campaign was on response to sexually
and other sexually trans- between the ages of 15 education and information. transmitted diseases.
mined diseases. and 40 - would be tested Sexually transmitted Its four-pronged stra-
The extent of Mon- and that, if necessary, the diseases are one of Mon- tegy aims to formulate and
golia's AIDS crisis is police would be involved. golia's biggest health coordinate a national
unknown. Since 1992, The announcement crises, and according to disease-fighting plan,
authorities have claimed provoked a flurry of alarm Dr. Kh. Davaajav, head of develop education and
there is only one case of among international aid the Health Ministry's AIDS/ information promoting
AIDS in the country. But organizations and hasty STD Department, they are safer sexual behaviour,
the national rate of STO "clarifications" from health on the rise. ensure the availability and
infection is high, and authorities. In 1996, 6887 cases promote the use of high-
according to UNICEF that The plan to test a were reported, 149 cases quality condoms and
is a precursor to an ex- quarter of a million people more than in 1990 and improve STD prevention
plosion in the rate of HIV was, if nothing else, am- 492 more than in 1993. and care.
infection. bitious. In the decade since And he said that only 40 At last week's media
After the recent flap 1987, the government's per cent of cases are event, activities designed
about mandatory AIDS and HIV lab has tested properly diagnosed and to spark discussion among
-STD testing, health of- 180,000 people. They treated. journalists revealed some
ficials were at pains to were blood donors and Davaajav noted that interesting opinions. A
stress the voluntary, members of high-risk social factors like rising majority felt that sex ed-
educational nature of their groups, including pros- poverty, prostitution and a ucation for youth was
policy. titutes and prisoners. crumbling preventative important and did not
Y. Terbish, chief of the In the event, testing health system are con- make young people more
Ulaanbaatar city health appears to have been tributing to the crisis. Half promiscuous. But a maj-
office, took the op- spotty, with women in of STD-infected people ority also agreed with the
portunity to clear up what some areas requested by were found to be un- statement, "All foreigners
he called confusing media police to report for te^ts employed. entering Mongolia should
reports about the city's while residents of other Another worrying have to take an AIDS test."

UB Post 14-10-97

Mandatory AIDS screening a
tempest in a test tube?
October 15 is the deadline 240,000 in all - would be Nations' organizations on the discretion of family
for women in Ulaanbaatar tested for STDs, including October 6, they said the physicians on those judged
to be tested for sexually HIV. testing was never meant to to belong to "high-risk"
transmitted diseases under But after international be mandatory. groups.
a scheme announced by aid, health and human- Health board chief V. It's unclear how much
local authorities last rights organizations pro- Terbish said voluntary testing was done in Ulaan-
month. tested mandatory AIDS testing was being carried baatar. In &ome areas,
But the testing peripd testing as a human-rights out across the country, police were reported to
is ending with a whimper violation and a misguided reaching anywhere be- have been knocking on
rather than a bang. public-health measure, tween 15 per cent and a doors requesting women
lr> late September, the civic health o f f i c i a l s majority of the population, comedown for testing. But
Ulaanbaatar city health claimed they had been depending on the ares. many women in an
office announced that- all misunderstood, He said the women informal survey said they
local women between th» In a meeting with rep- were tested for STDs, with had heard nothing at all.
ages of 15 and 40 - some resentatives of United AiDS tests conducted at
Mongolia's HIV count
doubles in one day
"We don't want to isolate or ostrasize any potentially

HIV infected people from our society."
H. Davaajav
AIDS Prevention Centre Director ffi

Disease Centre and are expected to
HEALTH be released soon," said Mr
By D. Narantuya Some doctors are not ruling out
the possibility that Mongolia's sec-
ond HIV infected person may have
One of the four prostitutes to contracted the disease prior to
have unprotected sex with an HIV sleeping with the Cameroon.
infected Cameroon has tested posi- After the announcement, the
tive for the virus, said H. Davaajav, AIDS National Committee issued
the AIDS Prevention Centre Direc- a nine-point resolution, including
tor. a statement saying that all people
The woman is now the second under 49 years of age and hospi-
confirmed HIV case in Mongolia, talized.must undergo AIDS testing.
and the first to officially contract It also states that all foreigners
the disease in Mongolian territory. coming to Mongolia should have to isolate or ostracize any poten- lians and foreigners who slept with
Results turned up positive 14 an 'AIDS negative' certificate and tially HIV infected people from our the four prostitutes.
days after the first testing. The it calls for an Tg8 million AIDS society." The increased number of AIDS
prostitute has admitted to having propaganda scheme. T. Gandi, Ts. Sharavdorj, both testing has led to another problem.
sex with 12 Mongolian men after The resolution notes that the MPRP, and O. Dashbalbar, The virus diagnosing devices, pro-
sleeping the Cameroon, five of Mongolian government should MTUCP members in the Parlia- vided by the World Health
whom have yet to be identified. have the right to arrest, detain, iso- ment, accused the government of Organisation, are now running in
Since the announcement the late or deport people with AIDS, not taking significant action when short supply. According to Mr 4-
National AIDS Committee, headed but that the containment of AIDS "the threat of AIDS looms over Davaajav, the next package of de- O
by Prime Minister Enkhsaikhan, will mostly depend on the will of Mongolia." vices are expected to arrive in Feb-
called for an emergency meeting. the public, rather than government Ms Gandi said Parliament has ruary. 00
H e a l t h Minister L. Zorig an- action. No word has been made if ignored her words to strengthen The first known Mongolian to
nounced that nearly half of the ap- the resolution will be adopted. regulations on AIDS prevention be infected with AIDS was re-
proximately 60 men who had sex Mr Davaajav commented on and testing. She was also critical vealed in 1992. The victim had
with the four prostitutes have un- the proposed resolution. "An inten- of the reaction of the MP's and of contracted the disease while in
dergone AIDS testing. sive AIDS propaganda and educa- the public regarding the deporta- Russia.
"The four prostitutes are cur- tion programme will be imple- tion of the Cameroons and the Mongolia was the 165th coun-
rently hospitalised in the Infectious mented. However, we don't want lackluster testing of the Mongo- try to register an AIDS victim.
CAMEROON: A Long Way To Go On AIDS Education w
The fallowing article to a recent seminar on Population, Immunodeficiency Virus (HI V) is man has painted a dark picture of however, health experts, agree against AIDS his top priority. He VI
provides an Interesting Health and the Environment. still largely under-reported, Africa and Africans so as to better that mass awareness campaigns has already set aside funds to
comparison to the HIV-AIDS According to Dr Dan Lantum, because people are afraid to go for exploit us. That is how I see the and preventive initiatives remain revive the National AIDS
situation in Mongolia. It an AIDS researcher and lecturer testing. AIDS debate," she says. the best ways to communicate Prevention Programme.
also presents some food for in the Faculty of Bio-Medical ' 'You want rne to really go for According to public health about AIDS to the population. Cheik Tidiane Sy, the
thought given that two Sciences at the University of the test?" a shoemaker at the figures in Yaounde, the capital ' The most affected persons, *' HSCO Resident Represen-
Cameroon/an men were Yaounde 1, it has been difficult to Melen neighbourhood- in city, in 1994, there were 230,000 says Lobe, "fall between the ages ; ive in Cameroon, says that the
deported from Mongolia expose the disease in Cameroon Yaounde asks incredulously. "1 people diagnosed with H I V . of 20 and 40. So the only effective media too has a key role to play
because they were carriers where the respect for the am sure you are not serious. If 1 Some 2,766 more cases were way of reducing HIV infection is in making the Cameroon ian popu-
of the HIV virus. individual's right to privacy and ever discovered t h a t 1 have reported in 1995. to provide enough education and lation more conscious of AIDS
the fear of being shunned by contacted this terminal disease, It is also estimated that four information for persons,especially and other population issues.
By Tftnsa MUSA society has swept AIDS under the the next thing I w i l l do is to out of every 10 teenagers is in students, who will reach this age "We must recognise that the
Inter-Press Service carpet. commit suicide, because life danger of contracting AIDS, and group in two or three years." population*; of Africa, notably
Journalists who attended the would have been brought to about 300 new cases are declared According to Dr Lantum, the those of \ neroon, are not always
YAOUNDE. Mar 5 (IPS} seminar, organised by the United nothing." every year. population has a two-fold aware of It z risk of rapid popu-

espite awareness and Nations Fund for Population Another Yaounde resident Public health authorities have responsibility; to fight against the lation growth and sustainable
educational campaigns Activities (UNFPA) and the unabashedly told IPS that: "... all opened special clinics to enable disease and to accommodate its management of available resour-
by public tvealth United Nations. Education, the talk about the use of condoms people to obtain the appropriate victims. ces, because the media, the link
authorities and non-governmental Scientific and Cultural and other contraceptives, or (the information and counselling Dr Ntone Eytme, a with the people, has continued to
organisations, Cameroonians still Organisation (UNESCO), say that talk about) stick to one sexual without fear of being victimised. psychiatrist at Yaounde Central relegate to the background
do not believe that the Acquired the lack of adequate information partner, is nonsense". And yet But even this effort has not Hospital, says people living with problems of population, health
Immune Deficiency Syndrome and resources are the main others like Rita, an unemployed received the full support of the HIV/AIDS need moral and family and the environment.
(AIDS) exists. obstacles to AIDS awareness in university graduate, still believe population. support and should not be "...It is the task of media
"Everywhere you go in this Central African nation. that AIDS is a western fabrication. "Only 10 percent of infected shunned as is often the case professionals to use their
Yaounde, the answer seems to be According to a recent survey "How do you expect me to persons know they are carriers Cameroon's new Minister for persuasive talents to let the
the same: 'I don't believe it by the Ministry of Public Health, believe in this thing when they say and this is because they have Public Health, Golieb citizens become more interested
(AIDS) exists. How can 1 believe sex workers, the army and long- it was first discovered in America carried out the test," says Dr. Monekosso, who was the former in those issues that affect their
in AIDS when I have never seen distance drivers are the high risks and then they go on to tell us that Moni Lob, a haematologist at the regional director for the World day-to-day lives,1* Sy says.
a patient. It is all trash'/' says groups in Cameroon. But the it originated in Africa? Yaounde Central Hospital. Health Organisation (WHO) in
Sa'ah Joseph Azeng, a participant incidence of the Human Throughout history, the White In spite of these difficulties. Africa, says he will make the fight


UB Post 13-01-98

Government backs HIV tests for
foreigners, international travellers
oreigners entering But while attention - and for: Traditional United Party - Organization, Mongolia is re-'
Mongolia will have to outrage - has focused on the -universities, institutes and walked out of the session the ceivir.g diagnostic equipment
present proof of a nega- Cameroon man found to be colleges to focus expenditure to same day, protesting that while capable of testing 50,000 peo-
tive AIDS test if a decision by infected with the AIDS virus, the give staff health education and the State Ikh Hural was debating ple. We've had a great demand
the National AIDS Committee is woman who tested positive has training a law on war, the nation was this year. But the supply is
adopted. full-blown AIDS, indicating she -capital city, aimag and local being attacked by a more in- adequate for the moment.
Mongolians would have to may well have contracted the administrations to spend a por- sidious enemy. "Mongolia imports five to
be tested before travelling virus long before she had sexual tion of their budget on HIV Gandi blasted the National six million condoms annually
abroad. contact with the African man. testing as necessary AIDS Committee, and called for through the United Nations
The Committee, headed by "We have no proof the wo- -an AIDS education pro- an emergency meeting of the Family Planning Association,
Prime Minister M. Enkhsaikhan, man was infected before having gramme aimed at children Committee, the government anc our AIDS programme and by
held a crisis meeting January 8 sex with the Cameroon," coun- -a study of the social psy- the National Security Council. retailers. But the distribution is
as a wave of alarm about the tered Kh. Davaajav, head of the chology of sexual life and not on target. In February
disease continued to ripple AIDS/STD Care Centre at the prostitution Supply shortage? condoms worth US $11 ,000 will
through the country. Centre for Infectious Diseases. The parliamentary op- be imported through a new UN
At the meeting, Health Min- "The woman herself was not position, meanwhile, is turning Davaajav said the Centre is
ister L. Zorig confirmed that one aware that she was infected." the AIDS issue into an attack on seeing record numbers of people Health Minister Zorig was
of the four prostitutes who the government. wishing to be tested - 780 have asked last week to ensure the
reported having had sex with an Opposition attack "The State Ikh Hural is come in the last three weeks. Bui safety of Mongolia's blood
infected man from Cameroon wasting time on unimportant the Centre is running short or, supply. In several countries,
had tested positive for the virus. On January 9, the National matters compared to the AIDS testing kits, and more are not due including Canada in the 1980s,
"She subsequently had sex AIDS Committee made a pre- situation," said a statement to arrive until next month. inadequate blood screening
with 12 men, but five have not sentation to the State Ikh Hural. issued by the Mongolian Shortages of condoms and resulted in hundreds of people
yet been found," said Zorig. Prime Minister Enkhsaikhan People's Revolutionary Party on clean syringes have also been becoming infected with HIV.
"The other seven have been reiterated the Committee's de- January 8. "The MPRP group reported. Monsam, the country "s "Blood is free today by law,"
tested." cisions, which also i n c l u d e demands the government act in only manufacturer of disposable said Zorig. "There is a problem
The results of those tests are spending Tg 50 million on the national interest and take syringes, was closed d o w n wilh finding donors in a market
not known. All four women are equipment and education and proper measures against the briefly last week after g o v - economy. Because of that,
being kept in a special ward of testing all current hospital scourge of AIDS." ernment inspectors found fa.h> patients are provided with blood
the Infectious Diseases Hospital, patients between 16 and 40 for Three opposition Members sterilization equipment from their relatives.
where they are being treated for HIV. He also pledged not to of Parliament - the MPRP's T. Davaajav says the sit ~But we need to amend the
a variety of sexually transmitted socially isolate the infected. Gandi and Ts. Sharavdorj and O. is under control. law, because the results of AIDS
diseases. The Committee also called Dashbalbar of the Mongolian "Through the Woric tests are not immediate."

UB Post 03-06-98

takes UB Post 25-11-97

AIDS lead U.N. marks World
Mongolia has been put in
charge of a project to combat
HIV and AIDS in Northeast
The agreement for the four-
year, U.S. $511,00 project — Several events are being of the Mongolian AIDS
aimed at coordinating an ef- held Monday (December bulletin and the kickoff of
fective HIV-prevention strate- 1), to mark World AIDS a poster and television ad
gy in Mongolia, the two Koreas Day. campaign.
and China - was signed last The United Nations in The UN will also unveil
week by the government of Mongolia is using the its new Internet homepage.
Mongolia and the United Na- occasion to launch a com- It all takes place at the
tions Development Pro-,
prehensive public-aware- opening of the UN.-backed
ness campaign against HIV Citizens' Information Cen-
The project's Ulaanbaatar
and AIDS. tre in Ulaanbaatar City Hall
office will publish a newsletter,
conduct cross-border studies December 1 will see the on Sukhbaatar Square.
and coordinate communication publication of the first issue
and networking among govern-
ments and NGOs in the region.

UB Post 14-04-98

Condoms for cons
under consideration
Distribution of condoms among
inmates has been a controversial
topic in many nations.

ealth authorities are
considering distributing Lkhamsuren, head doctor at
the Prisons Hospital, said same-
condoms in prisons to
sex sexual activity is widespread
prevent the spread of sexually
at maximum-security prisons like
transmitted disease.
At the start of April, they
These facilities have the
launched a campaign to test
highest risk of STDs and HIV,
Mongolia's prison inmates for
he said.
STDs, including HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS. "There is no point in trying
to prohibit this behaviour under
The testing follows a January
the law. It's a human right," said
edict from the Central Depart-
ment of Justice requiring testing Lkhamsuren, who confirmed that
distribution of condoms in jails
of all prisoners for STDs and
HIV, provision of disposable was being considered.
syringes in jails and imposition "We can't ban it (sexual
of controls on prison visitors due activity) by force," agreed Gan-
to the threat of AIDS in Mon- bat. "So we should take pre-
golia. ventative action to stop HIV and
STDs through such sexual
Prisoners constitute a group
at high risk of contracting the practices.
virus due to poor health, un- "This testing coincides with
a study of homosexual pris-
sanitary conditions and the po-
tential for unprotected sex. oners."
Authorities also say prostitutes More than 700 prisoners
regularly visit prisons, posing as have been tested so far, at Choir,
Maanit and Baganuur prisons.
relatives, to service the inmates.
Lt. Col. D. Canbat, deputy About 50 were found to be
chief of the Prisons Hospital, said infected with syphilis in Choir
and Maanit. Results from Baga-
final results of the campaign —
organized by the AIDS/STD nuur were not available at press
Centre, the Centre for Infectious
Testing is slated for the
Diseases and the Prisons Hospital
—should be available by the country's 15 federal prisons, with
beginning of May. doctors travelling this week to
"The test is a preventive Zunkharaa and Dam maximum-
security prisons.
measure against the spread of
In related news, AIDS/STD
AIDS and one that will allow us
to better treat people with STDs," Centre chief Kh. Davaajav re-
he explained. "When final test ported that no one in Mongolia
is yet ill with AIDS in his speech
results are known, officials will
marking the 50th anniversary of
consult in order to work out a
comprehensive treatment stra- the Wofld Health Organization
tegy." on April 7. Sh. Enkhbat, head of
The campaign raises the policy coordination at the Health
sensitive issue of sexual activity and Social Security Ministry,
in Mongolia's same-sex prisons. said there are two HIV-positive

Mongol Messenger 19-11-97

Talk on
tests again
Mongol Messenger 03-06-98
by D. Narantuya

When D. Byambasuren handed
over the Prime Ministerial reins to
P. Jasrai in 1992, he boasted that
he was passingon a "country with-
Mongolia a
out AIDS".
Local gossip at the time circu-
lated that Mongolians were free of
AIDS because their blood con-
key figure
in HIV
tinued perculiarities.
But just months later
Mongolia's first HIV case was re-
This year, after an alarming
shortage of AIDS prevention pub-
licity, the Mongolian Government
and the United Nations Develop-
ment Programme (UNDP)
launched an awareness campaign. The Government of Mongolia
At last week's South Asian Re- and the United Nations Develop-
gional Meeting on AIDS in Ulaan-
baatar, the director of China's ment Programme (UNDP) have
AIDS Network and member of signed a four year US$511,000
National AIDS Expert Committee
on AIDS Control, Prof. Kong-Lai project to develop an effective pre-
Zhang, urged Mongolians to ur- vention strategy for HIV in north-
gently address the need for educa-
tion. east Asia. The project makes Mon-
Prof. Kong-Lai Zhang said he golia a key player in HIV preven-
was sceptical about the efficiency
of thew compulsory testing. tion activities in north Asia.
" hat we need is accessible in-
formation, education and preven- "The project will increase the
tion - after which people must de- depth of awareness and under-
cide themselves whether or not to
undergo testing," he said. standing of the development-re-
The meeting was the first re- lated implications of the HIV epi-
gional conference on AIDS to be
held in Mongolia. demic and will enhance the
Health Ministry Policy Coor- region's capacity to respond," a
dination and International Coop-
eration chairman Sh. Enkhbat told UNDP spokesperson said.
the meeting he did not believe there An office to oversee the project
was only one Mongolian infected
with HIV. will be established in Ulaanbaa-
"Only three per cent of the tar. U N D P indicated that
population has been tested and
there are now more than 1000 pros- programme focus will be on health
titutes registered with the police in
Ulaanbaatar," Mr Enkhbat said.
care professionals and policy mak-
"There is also some uncertainty ers. Community awareness will be
about our HIV/AIDS testing equip-
ment - we need to invite interna-
promoted, particularly for vulner-
tional experts to check this equip- able and affected areas. The
ment," he said. project also hopes to aid the gov-
Some local government and
Health Ministry officials consider ernment in making a more effec-
compulsory testing as one of more tive HIV education and prevention
appropriate methods to combat
AIDS. programme.
Last month the Ulaanbaatar
City Council attempted to intro-
duce STD and HIV compulsory
testing for every Mongolian be-
tween the ages of 15 and 40 years.
However a human rights out-
cry from the international donor
community saw the Council and
Health Ministry change the tests to
a voluntary screening program me.

Mongol Messenger 05-11-97

Spread inneighbouring
countries a big danger
The fact that AIDS is spread- said that although! there was still ups have stoppped in 1990." FACT FILE
ing rapidly throughout China and officially only one AIDS paitient Mr Davaajav said this could be
Russia should be considered a in Mongolia, the number 01 people one of the reasons for the dramatic • The number of Chinese
great danger to Mongolia, an in- with STDs was increasing. increase in STDs in Mongolia. with HIV/AlDS is expected to
ternational HIV/AIDS researcher Mr Davaajav said every day Last month the Mongo-
told a press conference during the between five an'd seven people lian Health Ministry issued a di- reach 400,000 by the end of
ourth International Congress on came to the Ulaanbaatar. centre rective to all city and aimag admin- the year and 1.2 million by
/. jS in Asia and the Pacific. with venereal diseases. istration to screen 15-40 year-olds 2000.
Dr Roger Bernard, Director of He said only one person was for STDs and HIV • In China the number of
Epidemiology in Human Repro- officially recorded as having HIV/. The national testing people with HIV/AIDS is
duction in Switzerland, said Mon- AIDS and no new cases had been programme was held over two
golian health authorities must revealed in recent laboratory test- weeks but extended because the alarmingly high in coastal re-
launch an "active struggle" against ing. Ministry declared that not enough gions. For example, in
AIDS and Sexually Transmitted "But I am afraid that I can't say Mongolians were tested. Yunnan Province between
Diseases (STD). there is only one AIDS-infected The press conference, 45 and 75 of drug users have
"It is possible to restrict and person in our country. organised by Mongolian delegates
even terminate the spread of dis- "Before 1990 the Health Min- B. Delgermaa (MP), Sh. Enkhbat been infected.
ease in Mongolia," Dr Bernard istry conducted general medical (Health Ministry) and Jerry Van • In the Ukraine, one in two
said. checkups among about 80 per cent Mourik (UNDP), was the first to drug users are infected with
Centre director N. Davaajav of the population, but these check- be held during the congress. HIV/AIDS.

Mongol Messenger 05-11-97

Unprotected sex the
norm for street kids
Nearly every street child in • Twelve Mongolian delegates attended the
Mongolia is infected with STDs,
UNICEF worker B. Ba'yarmaa said International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the
during the International Congress Pacific. Among them was Mongol Messenger
an AIDS.
Ms Bayarmaa told The Mongol journalist, D. NARANTUYA - the only Mongolian
Messenger that in 1996 a Health journalist chosen by the United Nations and the
Ministry and UNFPA investigation
indicated that uncontrolled, unpro- Press Institute of Mongolia to cover the Manila
tected sex had become the norm for conference.
Ulaanbaatar street children living
in the city's underground sewers. number of infected people in the through innovation and accuracy;
"These-children have already Eastern European and Central Asia • Further identify, document
developed an abnormal under- region was comparittvely low at and replicate successful responses;
standing of sex and and sexual 5<mK). More than 5.2 million are • Focus attention on vulner-
life," she said. infected in South and South East ability, risk and harm reduction re-
"According to a UNICEF sur- Asia. lating to HIV/AIDS;
vey, nearly 10 per cent of street In a bid to combat HIV/AIDS • Mainstream STD/HIV/
children nave oeen victims of in the region, congress delegates AIDS into reproductive health and
sexual violence. produced the Manila Manifesto family planning efforts;
"It is time for sex education to Againts AIDS. • Undertake medical research
be taught among street children. The manifesto resolves to: focusing on cost effectiveness in
"Judging by the comments • Build a sustainable regional medical management and labora-
from other country's delegates, network of exchange and collabo- tory testing;
sexual education in school cur- ration; • Develop a strategy for the
ricula is commonplace." • Implement the International sustainable provision ofappropri-
All delegates agreed wide- Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Hu- ate treatments and social support
spread publicity was needed to stop man Rights and the Convention on for all people infected with HIV,
the spread of STDs and HIV/AIDS the Rights of the Child; and;
in Mongolia. B increase the allocation of • Abolish the sexual exploita-
By the end of last year, the funds in national and local budgets tion of children, youth and women.
New local commitment 00

to STD, HIV/AIDS battle infection.

HEALTH "Since the beginning of the
epidemic, well over two million
HIV-positive children have been
The Mongolian Government born to HIV-positive mothers, and a
hundreds of thousands of children ore
and United Nations agencies re
signed a Memorandum of have acquired HIV from blood
Understanding last week in a bid transfusions and through sex or
to strengthen Sexually Transmitted drug use," the report says.
Disease (STD) and HIV/AIDS Over nine million children are
programmes. estimated to have lost their mothers
World Health Organisation to AIDS."
representative in Mongolia, Dr UNAIDS Executive Director,
Susantha de Silva said the Dr Peter Piot, said AIDS was the
Memorandum of Understanding most recognised disease in the
was designed to share the world, but that the disastrous
commitment by all parties to bring impact it was having on children
about an effective national was not given enough attention.
response to STDs and HIV/AIDS. Dr Piot said if the spread of
"Though only one case of HIV/ HIV was not rapidjy contained,
AIDS has been reported so far (in gains made in reducing infant and
Mongolia), there is increasing child death rates would be reversed
concern that the situation may in many countries.
worsen with the change in lifestyle Estimates quoted in the report
of the people," said Dr de Silva, indicate that, by 2010, AIDS may
who is also the chairman of the UN increase infant mortality by as
Theme Group. much as 75 per cent and under-five
He said last week also saw the child mortality by more than 100
launch of the UN AIDS campaign, per cent, in the world's most hard-
Children Living in a World with hit countries. o
AIDS. "AIDS has changed the world
A recent UN report states that for children," Dr Piot said.
1000 children become infected "It is the responsibility of
with HIV every day. everyone, governments,
The UN estimates that by the communities and individuals - to
end of the year, one million rise to this new challenge and to
children under the age of 15 will bring urgent support to children
be living with the virus and and their families as they face the
suffering the physical and uniquely painful realities of life in
psychological consequences of a world with AIDS."
Rural population coping
with the threat of AIDS o
"Instead of having sex with many people in one position, it is
HEALTH better to have sex in different positions with one person."
By D Narantuya
Women's Movement for Democracy slogan.
Danger and shock among the
countryside population has erupted
since the confirmation that rural
men have had sexual contact with
the prostitutes who had unpro-
tected sex with an HIV infected
Cameroon, explained G.
Tsogzolmaa, the Head of Women's
movement for Democracy.
"People in the countryside are
quite removed from the problems
in the city, they have little knowl-
edge or understanding of our af-
fairs. This is a problem with the
current AIDS crisis. The biggest
problem is that they have not been
educated on the danger of AIDS.
They still believe it is a disease-
which Mongolians cannot con-
tract," said Mrs Tsogzolmaa.
The lack of education includes
use of condoms. "Many rural Mon-
golians think the condoms are used
for holding butter. They can easily
fit two kilograms of butter into one O
condom. •u
"Those that know the proper Rural Mongolians are a new target for AIDS education.
use of condoms only use them for education. However, this knowl- tive than state organisations. members in 20 different countries.
sex outside of marriage, they don't edge has yet to be passed onto The Women's Movement for The'organisation's slogan is: In- 90
know that they are used to protect men," she added. Democracy is the first non-govern- stead of having sex with many
against sexually transmitted dis- Mrs Tsogzolmaa is interested in mental organisation to conduct people in one position, it is better
eases, as well pregnancy," noted allowing non-governmental anti-AIDS propaganda, it was es- to have sex in different positions
mrs Tsogzolmaa. organisations conduct AIDS propa- tablished in 1996. The main target with one person. The statement
"The establishment of women's ganda in the countryside. She noted for its work is sex education for was published in the December is-
centers in rural areas has increased that NGOs would be more effec- young people, it currently has 5000 sue of AIDS National Magazine.

UB Post 27-01-98

Businesses join in
the AIDS battle
Government, business and At the launch, Mongolia
NGOs came together January 23 Consulting Services pledged to
to pledge support to the fight donate Tg 1 million worth of
against AIDS. condoms. The Red Cross has
Representatives from the also donated Tg 1 million.
Ministry of Health, the United
Nations Development Pro- In related news:
gramme's HIV/AIDS/STD
Project and the private sector -The newspaper Seruuleg
announced the launch of the (Alarm)says it has interviewed
National AIDS Foundation. a fifth woman who claims to
The Foundation, whose have slept with the Cameroon
board includes government man infected with the AIDS
members and executives from virus. She is 17 years old and a
several private firms, aims to resident of Darkhan. Author-
draw the private sector into the ities have now set the number
battle against AIDS. of men who slept with these
The UNDP's Nicholas women at 81, 23 of whom live
Bates stressed the need for all in the provinces.
sectors of the community -
government, business and -Police and hospital officials in
NGOs - to work together to Bulgan aimag arrested 14 wo-
combat AIDS. men suspected of prostitution
Roles for the private sector, in order to test them for STDs
he said, could include "active and HIV. Three-quarters were
and effective social marketing found to have a sexually trans-
of condoms," aids education in mitted disease. The HIV tests
the workplace, and financial are pending.

UB Post 28-04-98

AIDS campaign targets youth
A new U.S. $20,000 campaign teenagers. education about AIDS," ex-
aims to combat AIDS among More than 70 per cent of plained Kh. Enkhjafgal, national
young Mongolians. Mongolia's population is young, coordinator of the United
An April 23 meeting to kick and the campaign coincides with Nations' AIDS programme.
off the Mongolian arm of the the Year of Youth designated for "They wHl be-financed"by the
1998 World AIDS Campaign - 1998 by the State IkhHural. UN starting in May We hope it
a global effort laun-ched April 22 Despite the low incidence of will not be a one-off activity, but
in Moscow - stressed the need AIDS in Mongolia so far, the will continue in the future."
for AIDS education among country possesses many of the Kh. Davaajvav, head of the
youth. same risk factors as other former AIDS/STD Centre, said 15,000
More than half of new HIV socialist countries, currently the people have had AIDS tests at
infections around the world latest boom area for AIDS. the Centre so far this year.
occur in young people aged 10- The campaign, with its focus "Those people had tests
24. Around the world, 7000 on information and education, voluntarily," he stressed.
young people are infected with aims to make young people an Sh. Enkhbat of the Health
HIV every day. active force in pre-venting the and Social Security Ministry
Mongolia's first official spread of HIV and AIDS. said the lack of intravenous drug
AIDS patient is a young man in "Eleven small projects have use in Mongolia was one
his 20s, and the country has a been selected from more than 20 positive factor on the nation's
high number of sexually active to spread information and low HIV-infection rate.

Mongol Messenger 03-12-97

PM makes televised
World AIDS Day plea of.society;
HEALTH • Enlightenment and Health
ministries, and Mongol Radio and
Television should launch educa-
by D. Narantuya tion, cultural and sport
programmes to equip people with
the proper knowledge about the
In a televised speech to the na- dangers of HIV/AIDS.
tion on Monday, Mongolian Prime • Change the notion that the
Minister M. Enkhsaikhan called on struggle agianst AIDS is the only
parents to be more frank with their prerogative of health organisations,
children when speaking about involve the government, NGOs,
HIV/AIDS. public and private sectors in the
Marking World AIDS Day, the HIV/AIDS struggle.
Prime Minister's message came hot • Improve the quality of medi-
on the heels of the first National cal treatment, change old rules and
AIDS Committee meeting on procedures for medical testing, as
Thursday. well as the prophilactic methods
The National AIDS Committee for HIV/AIDS.
is headed by Mr Enkhsaikhan and "As fight against AIDS be-
includes ministers for Health, Fi- comes a nationwide action, any
nance, Enlightenment, Foreign organisation can allocate funds
Affairs and Justice, the Ulaanbaa- from their budget, and if necessary
tar Mayor and the chairman of we will allocate money from gov-
Mongol Radio and Television. ernment reserves," Mr
Mr Enkhsaikhan said despite Enkhsaikhan said.
Ihe fact that Mongolia had accu- Next year the United Nations
mulated some experience in com- Development Programme (UNDP)
batting Sexually Transmitted Dis- will contribute $US703,000 to
eases (STD), the struggle against Mongolia's national HIV/AIDS
AIDS no longer met required stan- programme.
dards. To mark World AIDS Day on
The Prime Minister outlined a Monday, the inaugural Mongolian
national directive to prevent HIV/ AIDS Bulletin was distributed in
AIDS from spreading in Mongo- a bid to provide facts and objec-
lia: tive information about HIV/AIDS,
• Health, youth and other rel- the danger arid preventative mea-
evant organisations must choose a sures.
way to work with mutual trust The bulletin was funded by the This picture was successful in a national competition organised
throughout the vulnerable sections UNDP. to enhance AIDS/HIV awareness.
Mongol Messenger 17-03-99

Mongolian AIDS patient dies One of Mongolia's two known cases of neer at the third construction and housing
AIDS died at an Ulaanbaatar hospital on March workshop in Sainshand, Dornogobi Aimag. He
6. was Mongolia's only known AIDS case for six
Tumentsog, 35, died from what doctors are years until a second was found in January
calling a "rare lung pneumonia called toxic 1998.
contamination phenomenon," one day after The second case, a prostitute who had slept
being admitted to the Railway Hospital. with untold numbers of men before the
Selenge, a doctor at the hospital, blamed the discovery, created a nationwide AIDS scare.
infection on Chinese spirits, which had a Dozens of prostitutes -- who congregate
reaction with Tumentsog's medication or weak outside the Ulaanbaatar Hotel -- were rounded
condition. Doctors treating him learned he was up and tested. Hundreds of other high risk
an AIDS carrier after an autopsy was performed people voluntarily tested themselves.
at the National AIDS centre. The government even considered
J. Demberelsuren, the Director of the AIDS mandatory testing of foreigners living in
and STD Preventive Centre confirmed that Mongolia. It was widely believed that the
Tumentsog was the Mongolian that was diag- prostitute had contracted the disease from a
nosed with HIV in 1992. Until his death, his Cameroon man, who had tested positive for
identity had been kept classified from his AIDS while in Mongolia.
friends and family. No other cases were found, but the World
UNAIDS representative Kh. Enkhjargal ad- Health Organization estimates that at least 100
mitted that the release of Tumentsog's long kept more HIV positive people exist in Mongolia.
secret had been an error. "That information was Other estimates say the figure could be up to
supposed to be kept private even after his death. 400.
The news came as a big shock to his friends "We t h i n k that the death of this AIDS
and family," she said. patient will increase awareness among the
Will this death mean more awareness? Tumentsog had been working as an engi- public," Enkhjargal said.

Mongol Messenger 03-12-97

World AIDS Day . 1 D«c«mbeM997

Red Cross stages
HIV/AIDS course
The Red Cross Society World AIDS Day ac-
held a two-day student tivities did not include
course on HIV/AIDS this condom giveways this
week. year, although more than
Held in conjunction 100 students from the
with World AIDS Day, the Mongolian Medical Uni-
course aimed v e r s i f y
to show stu- handed out
dents from posters, bro-
local univer- UNAIDS chures and
sities and the National
students how AIDS Bulle-
to avoid tin to motor-
HIV/AIDS ists, pedestri-
infection. ans and pas-
Students sengers on
were in- public trans-
structed by port
members of In addi-
the National tion to the
AIDS Com- P r i m e
mittee. Minister's
T h e World AIDS
Solferino Day televised
musical message,
group, formed to support Mongol TV also broadcast
charity, also performed a special AIDS programme
during the course. for adolescents.

Reuters 10-01-98
Saturday, 10 January 1998 13:21:25
' 55 09 Jan RTRS-Mongolians told to shun casual sex in AIDS fear
5. irja Halasz
__AN BATOR, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Authorities on Friday urged fearful Mongolians to shun drink and
s—a1 sex after a prostitute who slept with an African visitor tested positive for the virus that causes

Bw*. they resisted demands to quarantine individuals infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus
and screen foreigners for the deadly virus, which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency
3me (AIDS).
atrers and mothers, friends, fellow workers and individuals need to unite to fight against
sness," the National AIDS Prevention Committee said in a message published in official
"We must practise conduct that protects ourselves and society."
- a nationally televised address, health minister L. Zorig on Thursday revealed that one of four
who had slept with the visitor from Cameroon in West Africa, had tested HIV-positive.
Test results on the other three were not yet available.
can protect yourselves and your family by avoiding excessive drinking and sleeping around,"
_ said.
•: .-3 oeople in particular should change their habit of having casual sex when drunk, he said.
D^cals said they had traced 56 of about 80 people who visited the prostitutes after they had sex with
rfected Cameroonian, and they were looking for the others.
the government can take measures, it cannot protect you from this disease," the AIDS
tion Committee notice said. It urged people to step forward for anonymous testing,
said the committee had decided in principle not to isolate HIV-infected people.
need to relate to them in a human way," he said. "We need to help and support them."
Opposition members of parliament on Thursday demanded quarantine for carriers of the virus and HIV
scng for all foreigners entering the country.
~-e nealth ministry said authorities were not discussing any measures to screen arrivals.
' - r Committee is asking the government for 50 million tugriks ($61,500) to run an AIDS awareness
_ _ . - -.„ saic j g Enkhbat, director of the health ministry's AIDS centre.
Mongolia, a sparsely populated country between China and Russia, had earlier reported only one HIV
f^r Health workers have distributed condoms to hotels, but authorities otherwise have done little to
-3 spread of AIDS.
Fhere is a danger that AIDS couldidestroy the whole Mongolian nation," said Hasherdene, a 23-year-
: _ a- Bator resident, reflecting widespread public fear.
" orrKj my own syringes when I go to the hospital," he saJd. Mongolian hospitals commonly recycle

: 13 tugriks)

-ated news, double click on one of the following codes:

5 January 1998 11:58:34

Mongol Messenger 16-09-98

AIDS on the Mongolian
reached up to 40,000. The official
HEALTH report from China says that the
number of people who died of
By D. Narantuya AIDS is 280. This number must be
wrong, it should be more than this.
China usually gives false informa-
A seminar or. AIDS, organised tion," the professor noted.
by the Mongolian Foundation for At the seminar, N. Allanhuyag,
Open Society and the Institute of an official from the Ministry of
Albert Schweitzer in the U.S.A., Health and Social Welfare, men-
took place in Ulaanbaatar from tioned that the domestic condition
September 10-13, 1998. is such that it will allow for the
A major AIDS seminar has not spread of the disease.
been held in Mongolia since 1987. Global statistics indicate that
At which time, a laboratory for the number of individuals who
AIDS tests was established with have STDs is increasing year by
the assistance of the World Health year. In 1997, a total of 18,082
Organisation. people in Mongolia were recorded
According to recent statements, to be infected with STDs. This
Mongolia is officially considered number demonstrated a 2.5 time
to have two persons who are in- increase over the number of STD
fected with HIV. cases recorded in 1990. Accord-
However, according to Ralph ing to mi: ;stry statistics, about half
R. Frerichs, Professor of the Uni- of these people are unemployed, ' people who are not able to pay for gested by the Health Minister las:
versity of California, "There are a and 58 percent of them are young medical treatment and so they year, to have people aged 15-45
hundred people behind each one of people aged between 15 and 25. avoid seeing a doctor," Altanhuyag throughout the country tested for
the HIV infected persons". "The main reason for STDs is explained. AIDS and STDs. In addition, ir
In particular, the professor u n e m p l o y m e n t and poverty," The Health Ministry maintains December 1997, a decision wis
noted that Mongolians should be Altanhuyagsaid. that in drder to control HIV infec- made to test prostitutes of both ur-
careful and aware of this extremely Specialists at the Health Min- tion, it is very important to involve ban and rural areas for AIDS.
dangerous disease because the istry have indicated that the num- as many people as possible in be- A representative of the Health
number of those infected with HIV ber might be even higher than the ing tested for AIDS. Ministry mentioned that with the
is increasing in China and Russia, 18,082 that were registered last Throughout the last decade support of the United Nations
Mongolia's two neighbouring year. (1987-97), a total of 218,812 Organisation, there are govern-
countries. "Because the STD infected people underwent the AIDS test. ment health organisations as well
"The increasing number of the who live in those areas with a small By comparison, as m a n y as as non-government organisations
HIV infected in China is a very population are afraid and embar- 41,549 people WL.,e given an AIDS which are presently implementing
worrisome issue at present. Spe- rassed to see doctors, they try to test last year alone. This increase different projects against the
cialists believe that the number has treat themselves. Also there are was a result of a resolution, sug- spread of AIDS in Mongolia.