More Than 50% of Commercial Sex Workers in Beijing Do Not Use Condoms, Report Says
More than half of commercial sex workers in Beijing do not use condoms, despite the fact that HIV increasingly is spread through sexual contact in the city, according to a report on HIV/AIDS prevention and control released Tuesday, Xinhua/China Daily reports. Fang Laiying, director of Beijing's Municipal Health Bureau, said that 46.5% of the city's 90,000 commercial sex workers use condoms and that sexual transmission accounts for 54.6% of HIV cases in Beijing.
According to Fang, sexual transmission has surpassed injection drug use for the first time as the primary mode of HIV transmission in the city, while China's Ministry of Health in September made a similar announcement for the entire country. However, HIV prevalence among commercial sex workers in Beijing is unknown because a targeted testing program does not currently exist, Xinhua/China Daily reports. According to Fang, condoms are available at 22,000 locations in Beijing, including hotels and resorts. In addition, nearly 3,000 automatic condom vending machines have been installed at entertainment venues, and the city plans to install additional machines at construction sites with more than 500 workers, Fang said.
Beijing reported 5,635 HIV/AIDS cases as of Nov. 1 -- 21% among Beijing residents, 75.1% among people from other regions in China and 3.9% among people from outside of China -- Xinhua/China Daily reports. Nationwide, China reported 700,000 HIV/AIDS cases at the end of 2007 (Xinhua/China Daily, 11/25).