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AIDS prevention policy for gay population
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China is to work out a HIV/AIDS prevention policy this year to combat the rising incidence of HIV/AIDS in the country's gay population, the Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

The policy will incorporate detailed HIV/AIDS prevention measures for MSM (men who have sex with men) including extending the use of condoms, according to the ministry's work plan for disease prevention and control in 2008.

China has decided to intensify its AIDS intervention campaign on MSM by carrying out AIDS prevention training among the gay population nationwide as well as conducting consultation, HIV/AIDS tests, venereal disease treatment in some areas, the ministry said.

According to an appraisal report jointly prepared by the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, among the 700,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China by the end of 2007, 40.6 percent contracted the virus through heterosexual transmission, 11.1 percent through MSM.

"Sex has become the main channel of contracting the HIV virus," the report said.

China has 10 million gay men, official figures show. Some experts, however, estimated the homosexual population is around 50 million.

(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2008)

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