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November 25, 2009

UNAIDS: Sex Is Key Reason for New HIV Cases in China

Forty percent of new HIV cases in China are caused by unprotected heterosexual sex, according to a study by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and reported by The Associated Press.  

The study found that the rate of HIV transmission through homosexual sex has more than doubled since 2007 and tripled through heterosexual sex between 2005 and 2007. Drug use was previously the main source of new HIV cases.  

According to the article, China’s sex industry has contributed to the increase in new HIV cases. About 37 million men in China have been clients of sex workers, and the UNAIDS study showed that 60 percent of them don’t regularly use condoms.  

“We are seeing a shift in the nature of the epidemic,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director for UNAIDS. “We need to ensure resource allocation is responding to that change [to migrants and sex workers].”  

Chen Zhu, China’s health minister, said that at the end of October the confirmed number of people living with HIV/AIDS in that country was 319,877. In 2008 it was 264,302, and in 2005 it was 135,630. In 2008, for the first time AIDS was the country’s No. 1 cause of death due to infectious diseases.

Search: UNAIDS, China

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