More than 200 gay men received a free check-up in a
hospital in northern Beijing on Sunday.
The examination was organized by the Chaoyang Chinese
AIDS Volunteer Group, a non-government organization in
Information about the free medical examinations was
posted on a website for gays, www.hivolunt.net, a week ago,
according to Xiao Dong, chief of the volunteer group.
The check-up mainly targeted sexually transmitted
diseases and AIDS. To ensure privacy, examinees were each given a
card with numbers and passwords so that they could easily retrieve
their results on the website.
Psychological consultants were in attendance at the
Most people were in their 30s, with a sprinkling of
older people and college students.
Xiao did not identify the hospital but said it was a
private hospital. "We wanted to carry out the examinations in
public hospitals, but they turned us down saying they were too
busy," he said.
According to Xiao, the Chaoyang Center for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) that co-organized the exam will also
distribute 50,000 "rainbow cards" in places like gay pubs. The
cards entitles the holder to four boxes of condoms each
In 2004, China put the total of gay men in the country
at between five and ten million.
The HIV infection rate is close to 1.5 percent among
sexually active homosexual men, said Zhang Beichuan, a professor
with Qingdao University's Medical School.
(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2007)