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China spa for AIDS patients
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February 16, 2005 10:52 IST
A hospital in north China's Shanxi province has set up an unique spa for HIV/AIDS patients where they can receive treatment and make a living too.

Some 20 patients have received treatment at the 14.82 acre compound of hospital wards, entertainment venues and farmland since it opened on July 24 last year, state media reported Wednesday.

The Linfen City Infectious Disease Hospital last year rented the land from Licun Village, some 10 kilometres from the hospital, with an investment of  $ 183,000.

Hospital staff have named it "Green Harbour"  and hope that it could offer not only physical treatment but also psychological comfort for HIV/AIDS sufferers and their families.

The area is divided into three zones: treatment zone, logistics zone and work zone.

Patients and their families can grow grain, vegetables and flowers in the work zone, and then sell the farm produce to make some money. The facility also has an entertainment venue, a library and a gym.

There are 840,000 HIV/AIDS patients in China, according to official figures. While the Chinese people's knowledge of HIV/AIDS has improved greatly, there was still wide-spread fear and bias toward the disease.

As a result, many HIV/AIDS suffers can't work like normal people although their symptoms had not fully developed.

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