China ‘Struggles To Cope’ with STD Outbreak
Although Chinese government figures indicate that only 830,000 Chinese have STDs, experts have estimated in China Daily that more than eight million are infected with an STD, at least 500,000 of whom have HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. With four million "call girls;" 18 million girls who are part of a "floating population" that travels throughout the country in search of better jobs; a "rudimentary" health care system; "poor [STD medical] service ... at exorbitant prices" due to a shortage of specialty providers; and patients who are too shy to ask about STDs, the number of STD-infected Chinese is rising by nearly 40% per year, according to China Daily. With 17,316 cases of HIV alone confirmed last year, the "explosive" spread of STDs in China can be attributed to "one of the unforseen consequences of reform, which allows people to travel more widely and gives them more leeway in deciding how they want to live their lives." Gonorrhea is the most common venereal disease, followed by syphilis, which poses the "main threat" in some parts of the nation. "China's medical services on the prevention of STDs and their control is trailing behind the swift spread of diseases," Zhang Guocheng, deputy head of the health ministry's STD and Leprosy Control Center, said of the country, which spent onlyThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.