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Blocked gay Web
site reopens in China

Blocked gay Web
site reopens in China

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,, 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.

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