A local official in the southern
province of Guangdong said Tuesday that a month-long program
offering gay men free and confidential HIV tests began on May 10
and is planned to be repeated on an annual basis.
Jin Jianxing, a Guangdong Provincial
Center for Disease Control official, told China Daily that
confidentiality is a priority and that test results would not be
passed on to anyone else.
Until June 10, gay men based in
Guangdong can send anonymous blood samples by mail to the center's
AIDS Prevention and Treatment Institute and can even receive test
results online if they prefer. Alternatively, they may attend the
center in person to talk to doctors face-to-face.
The move is aimed at helping the
province study and research the spread of HIV/AIDS among its gay
population in order to better inform initiatives to reduce
The center is also offering free
examinations and tests for hepatitis, syphilis and other sexually
transmitted infections for gay men during the one-month period,
Local authorities are planning to
establish an AIDS working committee by the end of the year to keep
track of all people with HIV/AIDS in the province. It will seek
international cooperation and overseas financial support over the
next few years.
The total number of people in
Guangdong known to have AIDS was 5,051 at the end of last year, but
Jin estimated that as many as 30,000 may have HIV/AIDS in
Last year alone, 191 people were
newly diagnosed as HIV positive in the province, and the total is
expected to increase.
Guangdong now has the fourth largest
number of registered people with HIV/AIDS in China, after Yunnan
Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Guangxi Zhuang
(China Daily May 18,