Homosexuality, long neglected in China out of ignorance, has been recommended to be included in the country's orthodox learning.
At the first international forum on sex medicine held in China's Chongqing Municipality on Sunday, experts said discussing homosexuality in textbooks is essential to create a social environment tolerable to the country's estimated 18 million homosexuals.
Over 300 scholars and experts from China, America, Germany and Australia attended the forum. Sources from the forum said that under China's current social and cultural environment, over 70 percent of homosexuals hide their sexual preference.
"Of the homosexuals, 33.9 percent had suicidal ideation and 13.7 percent experienced suicidal behavior," said Zhang Beichuan, a member of the AIDS Consultation Committee under the Chinese Ministry of Health, who has had 15 years of experience researching Chinese homosexuals.
He has advocated the concept that respect and understanding from society could help alleviate the plight of homosexuals so as to mitigate social problems such as HIV/AIDS, the sexual transmission of which is most probable through unprotected anal intercourse.
China has aimed to check the number of HIV/AIDS infection under 1.5 million by 2010. However, if no effective measures are taken, the number could run out of control to exceed 10 million by that time, said Dai Zhicheng, director of the AIDS Consultation Committee.
Social tolerance of homosexuals would help check the spread of HIV/AIDS, and medical society could help establish channels for communication with homosexuals if it were discussed in medical textbooks, said Zhou Jiansheng, director of the Rainbow Work Group,a non-governmental organization which provides assistance to homosexuals in Chongqing Municipality in west China.
(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2005)