Num­ber of for­eign­ers in China di­ag­nosed HIV pos­i­tive triples

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION - By Zhang Hui Page Ed­i­tor: li­u­[email protected]­al­

There has been an in­crease in the num­ber of HIV cases in­volv­ing for­eign­ers in China in the past eight years, with the num­ber ris­ing from 660 in 2010 to 2,154 in 2017, a se­nior health of­fi­cial said Fri­day.

Among them, the num­ber of cases in­volv­ing for­eign stu­dents rose from 13 in 2010 to 100 in 2017, Han Mengjie, direc­tor of the Na­tional Cen­ter for AIDS/STD Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion un­der the Chi­nese Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence or­ga­nized by the Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion on Fri­day.

Most re­ported HIV cases in­volv­ing for­eign­ers in 2017 were con­nected to drug use, sex work­ers and for­eign spouses liv­ing in South­west China’s Yun­nan Prov­ince and South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Au­tonomous Re­gion, Han said.

Re­fer­ring to whether China’s re­moval of an en­try ban for for­eign­ers with HIV/AIDS since 2010 had led to the in­crease of HIV cases in­volv­ing for­eign­ers, Han said that lift­ing the ban is an in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tion that was adopted by 143 coun­tries and re­gions, but China will in­evitably see more cases of for­eign­ers liv­ing with HIV/AIDS with the deep­ened glob­al­iza­tion and in­flux of more for­eign­ers.

“The pre­ven­tion and con­trol of HIV/AIDS in for­eign­ers re­quires co­op­er­a­tion from mul­ti­ple gov­ern­ment or­gans, and more im­por­tantly we need to im­prove their HIV aware­ness and urge them to have HIV tests,” Han said.

Na­tion­wide, it is es­ti­mated that there would be 1.25 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/ AIDS by the end of 2018. China re­ports around 80,000 new cases of HIV in­fec­tion each year. Sev­enty per­cent of peo­ple di­ag­nosed with HIV in 2017 con­tracted the virus through het­ero­sex­ual sex and 26 per­cent peo­ple con­tracted the virus through sex be­tween males, ac­cord­ing to the health com­mis­sion.

“Chi­nese stu­dents have low aware­ness of HIV pro­tec­tion, with less than 40 per­cent of sex­u­ally ac­tive stu­dents us­ing con­doms,” Han said.

China re­ports around 3,000 HIV cases an­nu­ally, and the num­ber in 2017 was 3,077. Among them, 82 per­cent con­tracted the virus through same-sex trans­mis­sion.

Han told the Global Times that 52 uni­ver­si­ties in 11 prov­inces and re­gions have set up anony­mous HIV test­ing ma­chines for stu­dents, where stu­dents pro­vide a urine sam­ple and the re­sults are given later through a smart­phone app.

To raise aware­ness of HIV among stu­dents, the Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion and Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion have jointly es­tab­lished an on-cam­pus HIV re­port­ing sys­tem, as well as set­ting up on­line cour­ses on HIV and health aware­ness.

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