Gay men in China rarely use condoms
May 25 2005 12:00 AM ET
A survey of gay and bisexual men in Shenzhen, China, shows that only 20% of the men regularly use condoms for anal sex, the South China Morning Post reports. The survey of 22 men found that 33% of the men never or seldom use condoms. Health officials worry that the lack of condom use might be leading to high HIV transmission rates, especially since 61% of the men report engaging in anal sex and 74% say they commonly have anonymous sex. Half of the men also reported having unprotected sex with both men and women. "The use of condoms has increased dramatically in those (areas) where intervention measures have been taken," health official Cai Wende told the Post. "But we are facing difficulties in enlarging these pilot programs, even though they have proved to be very efficient."
Gay and bisexual men account for about 11% of China's reported HIV cases. The country's government estimates that there are 840,000 HIV-positive people in China, but officials with the United Nations say the actual number may be as high as 1.5 million and could climb to as many as 10 million by the end of the decade.