Sex becomes main source of AIDS spread in drug-plagued China province

18:49, November 29, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Sexual transmission has overtaken drug use as the main cause of the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus in southwest China's Yunnan Province where AIDS has killed up to 11,609 people in the past two decades, local health officials said Monday.

Yunnan neighors Asia's notorious opium producing region, known as the "Golden Triangle" stretching across the mountainous borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. The sharing of contaminated needles among drug users was the most common cause of transmission in Yunnan in the past.

But about 71 percent of new infections reported to the health authorities in the first 10 months this year were a result of sexual contact, said Xu Heping, vice director of the provincial health bureau.

About 8,670 people living with HIV/AIDS were reported in Yunnan from January to October. More than 2,000 patients died of AIDS in that period.

The number of infections through sex were up 6.7 percent from the same period last year, Xu said. A fifth of new cases contracted the virus from a spouse.

"The epidemic spread among spouses is alarming," Xu said.

The ratio of infections through drug use had been declining steadily since 2005, while infections among prostitutes -- a key guage for sexual transmission -- remained largely unchanged, Xu said.

Health experts say the spread of HIV/AIDS through spouses indicates the virus is spreading from high risk groups to the general public.

About 740,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in China, according to government statistics.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion