Beijing opens first clinic for gays
Updated: 2006-10-28 16:25
Beijing opened its first clinic for gays on Thursday and will provide free
sexually transmitted disease (STD) and AIDS check-ups and free treatment for STD
carriers for a year.
The clinic was set up by Chaoyang Chinese AIDS
Volunteer Group, a non-governmental AIDS prevention organization, and the
Disease Prevention and Control Center of Chaoyang District of Beijing.
The clinic, with financial support from local health authorities, will
provide one-year of free check-ups for AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea and genital
herpes. Free treatment is available for each of these diseases except AIDS, said
Xiao Dong, chief of Chaoyang Chinese AIDS Volunteer Group.
confirmed to be HIV carriers will be directed to national free treatment
programs and will be given free regular examinations, said Xiao.
free AIDS treatments covers 25,000 patients in 623 counties in 31 provinces
while special child treatment is carried out on 516 patients below the age of 15
in 14 provinces.
The country has spent nearly 288 million yuan (US$36
million) on free anti-AIDS treatment in the last three years, accounting for
14.3 percent of total anti-AIDS outlay, according to the health ministry.
People need to log on to the volunteer group's website
(www.hivolunt.net) and fill in an application form before going to the clinic.
Examinees will be treated anonymously and their privacy will be
respected, said Xiao. They will be given a mobile phone recharge card worth 50
yuan (US$6.3) as compensation for their transport costs.
located in the disease prevention and control center, will spread to two or
three community hospitals soon in order to provide more convenient and
confidential services, said Xiao.
"We will do our best to find funding
so that we can continue our free examination and treatment services a year from
now," said Xiao.
South China's Shenzhen city and East China's Nanjing
city set up homosexual clinics in February 2004.
China's first, and most
recent, official figure on male homosexuality was released in 2004, putting the
total of gay men in the country at between 5 million and 10 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