Guangdong offers free HIV tests
The AIDS Prevention and Treatment Institute of the Guangdong Provincial Centre for Disease Control started offering the tests yesterday.
He Qun, the institute's vice-director, said examination results would never be leaked and confidentiality would be maintained.
The aim of the free HIV examination is to tackle the spread of the fatal AIDS disease that is now threatening the prosperous Guangdong Province.
The examinations may help his institute research the spread of HIV among gay men, which He said make up between 2 and 4 per cent of the local population.
For the next three years, people, including foreigners, can send blood samples to He's institute for examination.
"The odds of homosexual men passing on HIV are 5 times larger than lesbian women," said He.
In another development, Guangdong Province is planning to build a syphilis prevention and treatment centre to help handle the province's growing number of syphilis patients.
The decision came more than 9,000 syphilis patients were counted last year, the highest number in the country.
Sexually transmitted diseases are now threatening the province, said Jin Jianxing, an official from the Guangdong Provincial Centre for Disease Control, yesterday.
Meanwhile, a special year-long campaign to help fight syphilis in the four cities of Guangzhou, Zhaoqing, Shaoguan and Jiangmen will be launched next month.
During the campaign, between 10,000 and 15,000 pregnant women and their husbands or sexual partners in the four cities will be required to undergo a syphilis examination before they give birth.
The move aims to take effective and concrete measures to prevent mothers who have contracted syphilis from passing the disease to their unborn children, one of the major syphilis infection channels.
In Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, the incidence of syphilis has reached 50 out of every 100,000 persons.
And about 45 out of the 50 contract the disease before they are born.