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Online Survey of Gays, HIV Carriers Conducted

A survey on the proportion of homosexuals and homosexual HIV carriers in the population was recently conducted in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. It is the first survey of its kind in the country.

The Heilongjiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received 1,300 responses from a Chinese website where the questionnaire appeared and begun analysis, said Wu Yuhua, deputy head of the provincial disease and virus control institute. 

The survey is part of a China-US program to improve monitoring, prevention and control of AIDS jointly sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services. The program was launched in April 2004 and will continue for five years, said Wu.

Heilongjiang is one of the 10 provinces and autonomous regions in China taking part in the program. So far it is the only one to set up a monitoring site for homosexual AIDS groups.

Because few homosexuals in China are willing to declare themselves openly, data of this kind have been difficult to collect. The Heilongjiang CDC worked together with the operator of the www.aixinsky.com website to conduct the survey, Wu said.

The website company conducted research and collected 270 urine and 50 blood samples, as well as distributing and compiling the questionnaires. It turned in the completed questionnaires to the provincial CDC on July 17.

The data collected by the website will be an important reference tool in the prevention and control of AIDS nationwide. The HIV carriers found through the survey will be timely given treatment and care, said Wu.

(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2004)

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