Yun­nan says thou­sands of for­eign­ers have HIV/AIDS

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Zhang Hui in Kun­ming

South­west China’s Yun­nan Prov­ince has re­ported 11,321 for­eign­ers with HIV/AIDS as of 2017, which ac­counts for 56 per­cent of China’s to­tal num­ber of re­ported HIV/AIDS cases in­volv­ing for­eign­ers.

In the past five years, Yun­nan re­ported 1,000 HIV-pos­i­tive for­eign­ers per year, and 80 per­cent were from Myan­mar, who con­tracted HIV mainly through sex, Jia Man­hong, a se­nior of­fi­cial at the Yun­nan Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion (CDC), said on Fri­day at the 5th Na­tional Con­fer­ence on HIV/AIDS in Kun­ming, South­west China’s Yun­nan Prov­ince.

Jia re­vealed the sta­tis­tics dur­ing her speech on HIV among for­eign­ers and peo­ple in­volved in mixed mar­riages in Yun­nan.

A Yun­nan CDC sur­vey of 151 for­eign­ers with HIV/AIDS who stayed in Ruili in 2013, a bor­der city with Myan­mar, shows that 40 per­cent of them en­tered China il­le­gally.

Yun­nan has a 4,060-kilo­me­ter bor­der with Myan­mar, Viet­nam and Laos. The prov­ince is also close to the drug-pro­duc­ing Golden Tri­an­gle.

The first HIV-pos­i­tive per­son in Yun­nan, re­ported in 1987, was a for­eign tourist, said Lu Lin, deputy di­rec­tor of the Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion of Yun­nan.

“For­eign­ers with HIV/AIDS in China also pose a great threat to the Chi­nese peo­ple, as 30 per­cent of them who had sex with Chi­nese never used con­doms,” Jia said.

The other high risk group is peo­ple in mixed mar­riages in Yun­nan. Around 160,000 peo­ple are in­volved in mixed mar­riages in Yu­nan, with 76 per­cent in­volv­ing Myan­mar women mar­ried to Yun­nan res­i­dents.

The Yun­nan CDC study on the group found that 70 per­cent of the mixed cou­ples failed to reg­is­ter their mar­riage at the lo­cal civil af­fairs de­part­ment and 43 per­cent have mar­ried more than once, Jia said.

Yun­nan health au­thor­i­ties of­fer an HIV test to around 200,000 for­eign­ers a year, and have pro­vided train­ing to some 1,300 health work­ers from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries, Jia said.

“But due to a lan­guage bar­rier, in­suf­fi­cient pol­icy, funds and mo­bil­ity, it’s still dif­fi­cult to of­fer health ser­vices to for­eign­ers with HIV/AIDS,” Jia said. “We ap­peal to the gov­ern­ment to im­prove bor­der con­trol.”

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