China to draw up HIV/AIDS prevention policy for gays

February 20th, 2008 - 10:40 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, Feb 20 (Xinhua) China will come up with a special HIV/AIDS prevention policy this year to combat the rising incidence of the infection in the gay population of the country, the ministry of health said here Wednesday. The policy will incorporate detailed HIV/AIDS prevention measures for gays, including extending the use of condoms, according to the ministry’s work plan for disease prevention and control in 2008.

China has decided to intensify its AIDS intervention campaign on gays by carrying out AIDS prevention training among the gay population nationwide as well as conducting consultation, HIV/AIDS tests, venereal disease treatment in some areas, the ministry said.

According to an appraisal report jointly prepared by the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, among the 700,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China by the end of 2007, 40.6 percent contracted the virus through heterosexual transmission, 11.1 percent through same sex intercourse.

“Sex has become the main channel of contracting the HIV virus,” the report said.

China’s health department estimated that the country has 5 million to 10 million gays. Most of them are in middle and large cities in China.

According to recent research on gays, prevalence of HIV/AIDS among this group in China is getting serious with the infection rate reaching 2.5 percent to 6.5 percent.

The Chinese government will expand its coverage of replacement therapy for drug addicts, using methadone, a synthesised narcotic, and continue to improve its policy of offering AIDS patients various free services, such as counselling, testing, anti-viral medicine and education for orphans of AIDS patients, the ministry said.

Clinics providing the therapy have been built in 503 communities in 23 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, figures from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed.

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