China Mulls Monitoring Gays And Truck Drivers For STDs

GayChina is considering a plan to monitor gay Chinese, along with truck drivers for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), in an effort to control the spread of the AIDS virus, according to health authorities.
The Ministry of Health is soliciting opinions from local disease control and prevention centers on a national plan for monitoring STDs, the ministry said.
According to the plan, monitoring stations will survey and monitor the incidence of STDs among prostitutes, gays and long-distance drivers and test their knowledge about STDs.
The five sexually transmitted diseases being monitored include gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia trachomatis, human papillomavirus and genital herpes.
The number of sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in China is on the rise. China reported 126,400 cases of syphilis in 2005, an increase of 35.79 percent compared with 2004 and 180,300 cases of gonorrhea.
In China, homosexuality, while no longer officially considered a mental disorder, is still an off limits subject for many people.
Chinese health authorities estimate there are 5 million to 10 million gay men in the country and about 80 percent of them admit to knowing nothing about the spread HIV/AIDS, according to survey conducted in 2004.
According to a report jointly released by the Ministry of Health, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization in January, gay men are a high risk group for contracting the AIDS.
China reported 75,000 new HIV infections last year.
The monitoring plan requires local CDCs keep STD data confidential and report it only to the national CDC.
The provinces or regions with the highest incidence of STDs are Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Jiangxi.
A report on the situation of STD prevalence in China, released by China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention under the Ministry of Health says that more infants are being born with sexually transmitted infections.
Analysts say that this is mainly because China has a weak monitoring system which fails to timely and effectively report STDs.
from People’s Daily

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