China sees sharp rise in HIV-positive gay men

BEIJING (Reuters) - The number of gay men in China who are HIV positive has risen sharply in the last three years, according to a survey of Chinese cities conducted by the Ministry of Health.

Men with HIV make up 4.9 percent of the gay population, up from 0.4 percent in 2005, the Xinhua news agency said Friday, citing Hao Yang, deputy director of the disease control department under the Ministry of Health.

“Sex becomes the major way of AIDS transmission in China and its spread among men having sex with men is worsening notably. I think whether we can well control AIDS transmission among gays will greatly affect the future of the whole country’s battle against the epidemic,” Hao said.

Heterosexual sex was still by far the most common way for HIV to spread in China, accounting for 40.4 percent of new cases in 2008. Same-sex intercourse accounted for 5.1 percent of new infections, up from 0.4 percent on 2005, and drug use accounted for 28.3 percent, according to Hao.

Xinhua did not give comparative figures for heterosexual transmission or transmission through use of injected drugs.

The survey was carried out in 61 Chinese cities on more than 18,000 gay men, said Wu Zunyou, director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health department surveyed gay men in three cities in 2005, and in five cities in 2006.

In one unidentified city surveyed this time, 15 percent of gay men surveyed were HIV positive, Xinhua said.

China has become more open about addressing AIDS and HIV in recent years, but embarrassment about talking directly about sex hinders frank education. Many people also avoid testing for HIV, for fear of losing their jobs or being socially ostracized.

Although homosexuality is also more tolerated, it is still taboo in many socially conservative Chinese families and cities.

By September, China reported about 260,000 HIV positive in total, among whom 77,000 had developed AIDS, and 34,000 have died.

The number of HIV-positive people increased by 50,000 in 2007, Xinhua said.

(Reporting by Lucy Hornby)

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


BEIJING (Reuters) - China faces a “grim” situation in preventing and controlling human cases of bird flu, the health minister said, after announcing four human infections in the last two weeks and three deaths. Health Minister Chen Zhu called for hospitals to spare more resources in diagnosing and treating bird flu and more cooperation between agriculture

Full Post: China warns of “grim” fight against deadly bird flu
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Tan Ee Lyn HONG KONG (Reuters) - Drug-resistant HIV strains are turning up in parts of China as the virus stretches beyond high-risk groups and gains a stronger foothold in the general population, a leading Chinese AIDS researcher said. Chen Zhiwei, director of the AIDS Institute in Hong Kong, described the trends as “alarming” and warned

Full Post: Drug-resistant HIV strains turning up in China
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States is expanding a training program for Chinese health officials to include communications to promote transparency during disease outbreaks, the director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control said on Thursday. Southern China’s mix of densely populated cities, crowded wet markets, a relatively warm climate and close proximity of humans, poultry

Full Post: China to get U.S. training on handling outbreaks
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Boggs, MD NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Health care workers in emergency departments are often carriers of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or (MRSA), potentially putting patients at risk, according to two reports in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Testing positive for MRSA is sometimes transient among health care workers, but unfortunately the results of this

Full Post: Highly resistant bacteria common in ER workers
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Michael Kahn LONDON (Reuters) - Near-universal HIV tests and immediate drug treatment for people who test positive would almost eliminate transmission of the deadly virus within a decade, a computer model showed on Wednesday. Doing this would cost more initially but then save money down the road because there would be fewer HIV-infected people to treat,

Full Post: Universal HIV tests would have big impact: study

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search