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

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

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

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

Chen Zhu, China’s health minister, said that at the end ofOctober the confirmed number of people living with HIV/AIDS in that country was319,877. In 2008 it was 264,302, and in 2005 it was 135,630. In 2008, for thefirst time AIDS was the country’s No. 1 cause of death due to infectiousdiseases.