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Special Clinic Set up for Gay Patients

Cheng Jinquan, president of the Shenzhen Municipal Hospital of Epidemic Diseases (SMHED), says a new homosexual outpatient department is being created to help prevent sexual transmission diseases (STDs) and AIDS from spreading in the southern metropolis. It will offer special medical service to the city's growing number of homosexuals.

Shenzhen, which borders the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is now estimated to have about 100,000 homosexuals, the highest number among the mainland's cities, and the figure is still growing.

"If everything goes smoothly, the new outpatient department will soon begin service," Cheng said on Wednesday.

Senior medical experts and doctors from abroad, mainly from Britain, will be invited to work in the outpatient department, which will be set up in SMHED.

The hospital is now involved in a joint medical project with the British Royal Hospital in preventing and treating dermatosis and STDs.

The project, called the Sino-Britain Service Center for STDs and Dermatosis, officially opened its doors on Tuesday.

In addition to offering medical service to local outpatients, the British experts and doctors will give lectures and exchange views on preventing and treating STDs and dermatosis with local counterparts.

"AIDS and STDs are actually threatening Shenzhen and even the whole of Guangdong Province," Cheng said.

Guangdong is estimated to have had more than 30,000 AIDS patients and HIV carriers at the end of last year.

Guangdong now comes the fourth in the country in diagnosed AIDS patients and HIV carriers, following Yunnan, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Last year alone, 191 people were diagnosed with AIDS, Cheng said.

In medical examinations of 120,000 pregnant women in Shenzhen last year, 550 were diagnosed with syphilis, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2004)

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