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China Sees Rise In HIV Among Youth, MSM

“Two decades after tens of thousands — some say hundreds of thousands — of Chinese contracted HIV from contaminated blood products in an epidemic that raged in the 1990s, the major transmission route today is sex, according to Chinese media reports, citing figures from the National Health and Family Planning Commission,” the New York Times’ “Sinosphere” blog reports. “And a new at-risk group is growing fast: young people aged between 15-24, according to Wang Ning, an AIDS specialist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” the blog notes. “Linked to the rise is gay sex, experts said,” the blog continues, adding, “On its website, the China office of the [WHO] said counseling for men who have sex with men, or MSM, was ‘critical.’” The blog notes Chinese President Xi Jinping marked World AIDS Day by “issuing a ‘written instruction’ on AIDS work for ‘Party and government organs at all levels to step up the fight against HIV/AIDS,’ Xinhua reported” (Tatlow, 12/3). “Xi stressed legal and scientific prevention and control work as well as the smooth implementation of support policies, calling on the public to jointly eliminate discrimination and help provide timely and effective treatment and support for HIV carriers and AIDS patients,” Xinhua writes (11/30).