Chinese CDC To Launch Program To Eradicate HIV/AIDS Among MSM
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention this week plans to begin soliciting opinions from men who have sex with men on a program to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among MSM, scheduled to be implemented in May, China Daily reports. About 10% to 20% of MSM in the country currently use condoms, according to China's CDC. The program plans to use special funding, technical support and information sharing to spread awareness about HIV among the estimated 20 million MSM in China. The program aims to increase availability of condoms and lubricants to 70% of MSM in the country and to build a national network for the sale and distribution of condoms and lubricants. In addition, the program will relax registration rules for gay advocacy groups. HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations that target MSM are encouraged to develop peer-education campaigns, information hotlines and community activities to increase awareness about HIV within the community (Shan, China Daily, 4/14). The Chaoyang Chinese AIDS Volunteer Group and the Chaoyang Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday provided no-cost medical checkups for MSM at a private hospital in northern Beijing, Xinhua/China Daily reports. Tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections were provided as part of the checkups. People who received an exam were given a card with numbers and a password to access their results online. In addition, the Chaoyang CDC said it would distribute 50,000 "rainbow cards" to clubs frequented by MSM that will entitle the holder to four boxes of condoms per month (Xinhua/China Daily, 4/16). According to CDC statistics, the number of HIV-positive MSM has doubled since 2004. MSM account for about 7.3% of HIV/AIDS cases in China, the China Daily reports (China Daily, 4/14).
Shanghai Reports Record Number of New HIV Cases
In related news, Shanghai, China, recently reported a record 718 new HIV cases and for 2006, a 54% increase from 2005, China Daily reports. The city, which recently launched a five-year plan to curb HIV/AIDS, also reported 53 new AIDS cases during 2006. The city's plan emphasizes government intervention and HIV education. In addition, the plan requires that 90% of government workers be trained on how to deal with HIV/AIDS and calls for citizens and migrants to receive information about HIV prevention and blood safety (Zhang, China Daily, 4/14).