China: more HIV prevention needed

Published: July 25, 2011

Men who have sex with men (MSM) represent one in every three new cases of HIV in China, according to official statistics released by China’s Ministry of Health, while fewer than half of China’s MSM have access to HIV testing services and less than 15 percent of those who need treatment are receiving it.

Nationwide, 5 percent of MSM have HIV — 88 times higher than the general population — with much of that concentrated in large urban centres. In some southwestern cities, almost 20 percent of MSM are infected.

Government officials, NGOs and UN representatives met in Chengdu recently to discuss a new five-year strategy calling for a “dramatic scale-up in the coverage of HIV prevention and treatment for the MSM
 population” in the city which has an infection rate of one in 10 among MSM.
 
Participants included China’s Ministry of Health, the Sichuan Provincial Health Bureau, representatives from civil society and UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé.
 
“Cities have a critical role to play in the AIDS response,” Chengdu Health Bureau director Yang Xiaoguang said.

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