Friday, November 03, 2006

Same Problem Different Place

HIV infection rate climbs among gay men in China

by The Washington Blade

YICHANG, China -- The rate of HIV infection among sexually active gay men in China is increasing dramatically, to nearly 1.5 percent, an expert on the issue told China Daily.

The increase is attributable to a lack of information about the disease and how to prevent infection, said Zhang Beichuan, a professor with Qingdao University's Medical School.

"The health authorities have to do something to curb the rising infection rate among gay men, who account for two to four percent of the sexually active adult male population," Zhang told an HIV/AIDS forum in Yichang, according to China Daily. The Chinese government's only official statistics on male homosexuality put the total number of gay men in the country between 5 and 10 million out of a total population of 1.3 billion.

Zhang said he found in one northeastern Chinese city that only 20 percent of the 215 gay men he interviewed used condoms and 90 percent of them ruled out any likelihood of having contracted HIV, even though half were college graduates.

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