HIV/AIDS Becoming China’s Leading Deadly Infectious Disease ‘Lends Added Urgency’ to Sex Education Campaign, Editorial Says
"The news that AIDS has become China's deadliest infectious disease ... lends added urgency to a national sex education campaign" that was launched earlier this week, a South China Morning Post editorial says. According to the editorial, HIV/AIDS is "preventable with good public health education, sensible precautions and responsible behavior." It adds, "Its deadly progress can be slowed by early detection and treatment with the latest antiretroviral drugs. All things being equal, the rate of new infections and deaths should be slowing." However, some "experts say the rate of new infections is growing and that the worst is yet to come."
According to the editorial, "ignorance is a factor" in the spread of HIV, and a "cultural reticence to discuss sexual issues contributes to this." It adds, "That is why the sex education campaign launched this week is intended to break down taboos and get more people to seek treatment for" sexually transmitted infections, as well as infertility. "People's shyness when it comes to talking about sex remains a huge issue," the editorial says, adding, "Posters, competitions and a government television campaign to promote the use of condoms are among measures aimed at bringing sexual topics out of the closet." According to the editorial, rapid "economic growth, rising wealth and the mass migration of young people to the cities is bound to test social customs." It adds, "Greater openness about sexual health will contribute to Beijing's goal of a harmonious society. Despite its great achievements, a country that aspires to lift hundreds of millions more out of poverty can ill afford the rising cost of HIV/AIDS in terms of human lives and misery, social discrimination and economic losses" (South China Morning Post, 2/19).