A day after Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping visited a community clinic treating HIV/Aids patients in Beijing, his wife, Peng Liyuan, held hands with children infected with the virus.
Attending the launch of a short film designed to increase public awareness of HIV/Aids in Beijing on Saturday, Peng, who stars in the Ministry of Health production, walked onstage arm in arm with the children who were her co-stars. They contracted the virus from their parents.
It is the third HIV/Aids awareness film in which Peng has appeared. She was also appointed the ministry's ambassador for HIV/AIDS prevention in January 2006 and became the World Health Organisation's goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/Aids last year.
Peng, 50, who became a household name as a People's Liberation Army folk singer, is seen teaching a boy infected with HIV how to play the piano in the film, Always Together.
She also holds Gao Jun, a boy infected with HIV from Fuyang , Anhui , in her arms, while she paints and plays football with him and kneels down to tie one of his shoelaces.
Gao referred to her as "mother Peng".
Peng said she first met Gao when she visited an orphanage in Fuyang in 2006. He had changed from being a skinny boy who shut out the outside world to one who was more open and more prone to laughter.
Asked how long she wanted to continue working to combat discrimination against HIV/Aids patients, Peng replied: "I want to keep doing it for another 10 years, 20 years or 30 years - as long as I'm needed. I will be old and these children will grow up. I hope all those children affected with Aids will have a bright future."