Chinese Public Health Officials Angered Over Clinical Trial of Male Contraceptive Injection, Fear Will Decrease Condom Use
Public health officials in the Chinese city of Guangzhou have "reacted angrily" to reports that the Guangzhou Family Planning Department is holding clinical trials of a contraceptive injection for men that they are touting as an "alternative to condoms," fearing that the birth control method may decrease condom use and lead to an increase in sexually transmitted disease rates, the South China Morning Post reports. Family planning officials said that the "TU" contraceptive, which inhibits a man's ability to produce sperm, is safe, 98% effective and is "almost as inexpensive as using condoms." Men resume normal sperm production soon after stopping the injections. "By 2005, you could just go to your family planning center once a month and not have to use a condom for birth control," Wu Weixiong, a deputy of Guangzhou's Family Planning Scientific Technology Research Institute, which developed the injection, told the China News Service. The claims "shocked" public health officials in Guangdong province, which accounts for 18% of China's total STD cases and is home to an estimated 20,000 people with HIV. An official in charge of STD prevention at the Guangzhou Health Department said that the family planning commission "can do all the clinical trials it likes, but I can promise you the government would never approve a plan allowing injections to be given in place of condoms" (South China Morning Post, 1/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.