Some 200 students from Taipei Medical University (TMU) held a march yesterday in downtown Taipei to raise awareness of AIDS-related human rights issues.
The students, including some from the US, Haiti, Finland, Japan and Kenya, chanted slogans as they marched from the university, past Taipei 101 and back to their campus.
The march was held to recognize International Human Rights Day tomorrow and World AIDS Day on last Tuesday.
Lin I-lun (林億倫), head of TMU’s foreign student association, said the major purpose of the activity was to heighten public awareness of AIDS prevention and help promote the concept of a global village and a non-discriminatory coexistence of all peoples.
Chang Wu-shou (張武修), director of the TMU’s foreign affairs department, said that the university is keen to see students develop an interest in international affairs and acquire a global perspective.
The TMU, as part of its efforts to help combat the spread of AIDS in Africa, has sent two volunteer medical service groups to provide service to HIV carriers in Swaziland and Sao Tome and Principe, Chang said.
Some 40 percent of people in Swaziland’s 25 to 45 age group are affected by HIV, he said, so the TMU is keen to accept students from African countries who wish to pursue advanced medical studies and AIDS management.
Monicah Nthumbi, a Kenyan exchange student at TMU, said AIDS-related management is an important issue in her country and she expressed the hope that she would be able to learn modern management skills to help contain the spread of the fatal disease in Kenya.