Is forcing men into unwanted marriages helping the spread of AIDS? According to Zhang Beichuan, a professor at Qingdao University, that—and the lack of men willing to out themselves by taking an AIDS test—has been holding back efforts to treat the endemic. HIV/AIDS was recently declared the deadliest infectious disease in the country.
According to Xinhua:
Zhang and his team conducted a survey in nine major cities including Shanghai, Nanjing, Harbin, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Shenyang, Xian, Wuhan and Chongqing in 2006. It shows that about 94.8 percent of the 2,250 homosexual males polled have had sex with other men in the past six months, and 20.7 percent have already married women. The survey targeted what it perceived as the most sexually active group among homosexuals…
“In western countries, only a fraction of homosexuals would get into heterosexual marriages. But in China, about 70 to 80 percent of gay men had the intention of marrying a woman sooner or later,” Zhang added.
The survey showed that about half of the men polled had looked for strangers to have sex in places where male homosexuals usually hang out. About 18.6 percent participated in mass sexual activities and 13.2 percent paid for sex.
Also, about 22.4 percent have experienced symptoms of venereal disease during the past six months, and 24.4 percent have taken HIV/AIDS tests, with 2.2 percent positive.
While we do agree that negative attitudes against homosexuality (and… we guess, forcing sexually repressed boys into marriages) do nothing to help the AIDS situation, we’d like to point out that it’s just one (probably not so large) factor in many that promote the continuing spread of the virus in the country.
A recent poll of Chinese attitudes towards HIV/AIDS found that 30% of people didn’t know how to use a condom and over half the people polled had no idea how the disease was actually transmitted. That, plus rampant unregulated prostitution plus the corruption at lower levels of any government effort to stem the disease is what’s literally screwing this country’s ever-increasing HIV positive population.
Also on the Shanghaiist:
The HIV/AIDS confusion and circumcision
312 HIV-positive travellers found through random blood checks at border crossings
AIDS in China: Not just a slow sexual thang
China’s booming sex industry
Photo from Topnews