Chinese Vice Health Minister Says Government Cannot Neglect MSM in AIDS Fight
Chinese Vice Health Minister Wang Longde on Wednesday said men who have sex with men are a major concern in the country's fight against HIV/AIDS, Xinhua/People's Daily Online reports. Wang said the Chinese government must admit that MSM exist and cannot neglect the population, noting that some MSM "not only have sex with men, but also with women" (Xinhua/People's Daily Online, 9/2). According to a survey conducted last year by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80% of MSM in China are unaware of their risk of contracting HIV and believe they are not at risk of becoming HIV-positive. The survey also found that 31.7% of Chinese MSM have had one to 10 sex partners, 22.2% have had more than 100 partners, 17.4% have had female sex partners and 12.6% are married (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/16/04). Wang also said that China is analyzing HIV/AIDS surveillance data for many regions of the country and plans to release "a much more accurate figure" of the country's number of HIV cases around World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 (Xinhua/People's Daily Online, 9/2). The Chinese government has estimated that there are 840,000 HIV-positive people in the country and that 80,000 of those people have AIDS. However, international experts and advocates say the actual number of HIV-positive people in China probably is between one million and 1.5 million. UNAIDS has said that the number of HIV-positive people living in China could increase to 10 million by 2010 unless steps are taken to address the epidemic (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.