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Beijing targets unsafe sex among men in HIV campaign but obstacles remain

Source: South China Morning Post

Beijing aims to spread safe sex awareness among men at risk of contracting HIV as part of its wider push to tackle the spread of the disease.


Critics say, however, any campaign should address the discrimination that patients face in seeking medical care.


In a plan released by the State Council on stopping the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the government vowed to have 90 per cent of the high risk population educated about the disease, and lower the mother-to-child transmission to 4 per cent.


The plan, released last month, also aims to lower the rate of infection arising from unsafe sex among men, or MSM, by 10 per cent by the end of 2020.


Sexual transmission accounts for 94 per cent of HIV infections on the mainland. The rate of male homosexual transmission has increased from 2.5 per cent of all contractions in 2006 to 28 per cent of the 96,000 new infected cases recorded in the first nine months of 2016, according to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.


Jing Jun, a professor and director of Tsinghua University’s Aids policy research institute, said transmissions among gay males were “spiking”, and that one in 10 men who had sex with men aged between 25 and 55 in the mainland’s big cities were HIV carriers. Only about half of gay men in Beijing used condoms consistently, according to a study published in the Chinese Medical Journal in 2016. More

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