China's NGOs spread HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness

Published: September 11, 2011

SHENYANG, Sept.11 (Xinhua) — Xiao Ming is a 25-year-old gay man from Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province, who never worried about HIV or AIDS until he got sick last April.

"I ran a fever and had diarrhea after having intercourse," Xiao said, using a fake name to protect his identity.

Like many other homosexual men in China, very few people know of his sexual preference. But Xiao Ming has had boyfriends, and hasn’t always used a condom during sex.

"I used to think that I was healthy and didn’t need to undergo physical tests. But I felt so afraid this time," he said.

Xiao Ming took a quick HIV test in the Health Advisory Service Center of Love Aid, an NGO devoted to fighting the spread of AIDS among homosexuals.

Fortunately, his test results came back negative, showing no sign of infection.

Since then, Xiao Ming has been taking an HIV test every other month and brings his friends to get tested as well.

Love Aid, founded in Shenyang, has one full-time and two part-time test administrators and a 24-hour a day hotline.

"People come to receive VCT [HIV voluntary counseling and testing] almost every day," said Ma Tiecheng, director of the Health Advisory Service Center of Love Aid.

Those diagnosed as HIV-positive are referred to professional HIV/AIDS treatment facilities or institutions, Ma added.

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