Blocked gay Web site reopens in China

BY

June 23 2005 11:00 PM ET

A Web site for
gay and lesbian people living in China reopened to domestic
users on Thursday after being blocked for almost three
months, reports Japan's Economic Newswire. The
Chinese-language site, GayChinese.net, reopened in its old
form, with information on AIDS prevention and sex changes as
well as photos of China's first gay pride day on June 12.
The six-year-old site also posts news about gay people--whom
the site calls "comrades," according to the current
slang--from other countries, plus articles and poetry from
Chinese people.
Public security officials shut it down in early
April, said Wan Yanhai, coordinator of the Beijing-based
AIDS Action Project, a nongovernmental organization founded
in 1994. Authorities probably closed the site because of its
unusually large influence, Wan said. He said the site
generated more than 10,000 page views per day. Webmasters
changed servers several times to escape a public security
block, he added. Other gay-targeted Chinese Web sites have
been disrupted, Wan said, but they are not blocked. "This
one was rather influential," he said.
China frowns on openly gay and lesbian people, but
they can pick up AIDS information in gay bars or call
special hotlines to get disease-prevention advice. Surveys
indicate that from 1.1% to 11% of China's million-plus AIDS
cases occur among gay men, who sometimes spread HIV to their
wives. Most AIDS cases in China occur among sex workers,
drug users, or blood donors.

Tags: World

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