Xiao Dong, an HIV
activist in Beijing, has launched a new group that
works to promote HIV prevention and safer sex among gay and
bisexual men in China's capital, The China
Daily reports. The organization, founded in May
2005, now has 43 members, most of whom are gay men.
They visit gay bars and other gay venues in the city to talk
with patrons about HIV and how to protect themselves from
the disease. "Our mission is to spread the word on
AIDS among gay men, a topic that has been hiding in
the closet for a long time," Xiao told the newspaper.
"It is quite urgent that we give gay men the basics on how
to prevent AIDS."
homosexuality is not illegal in China and the country in
2001 removed it from a list of mental disorders,
social taboos against homosexuality remain strong, and
gay men face high levels of stigma and discrimination,
Xiao says. This prevents them from seeking information
about safer sex or accessing condom distribution programs
for fear of being publicly identified as gay. (The