A study released by the Ministry of Health revealed today that approximately one of three new HIV infections in China are found in homosexual men. HIV was present in almost 20 percent of men in some south-western cities on the mainland, indicating that HIV and living in a big city are positively related.
Five percent of men who have sex with men have HIV, 88 times the HIV prevalence of China's general population, statistics revealed.
Ironically and tragically, government figures show that less than half of the MSM population have access to HIV testing, further amplifying the problem. Furthermore, less than 15% of HIV-positive gay men who need treatment are getting it.
A December 2010 study by the New English Journal of Medicine revealed that gay men who take antiretroviral drugs are 44 percent less likely to pass it on to an uninfected partner. A May 21, 2011 study employed 1,763 serodiscordant (mixed HIV status) heterosexual couples; half of the couples began treatment while the other half waited for progression to more severe symptoms. The group that immediately began treatment suffered one HIV transmission. The other group? 27.
Cities are at the heart of China's development and progress, and must remain at the forefront of its HIV response, Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) addressed the workshop here Saturday to address a rapidly-growing HIV epidemic among MSM. Through bold action to address HIV among men who have sex with men, cities can lead the way to achieving the UNAIDS vision of Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths. We hope that over the next year, many more Chinese cities will implement city-based MSM strategies, he added.
China's government reported that China's gay population stands between 5 and 10 million. This number is likely underreported and expert Zhang Beichuan said that China probably has 30 million gay men.