In DepthPUBLIC HEALTH

HIV infections are spiking among young gay Chinese

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Science  31 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6332, pp. 1359
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6332.1359

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Summary

A dramatic rise in HIV infections among young gay men in China has belatedly captured the attention of both national and local authorities. Although the total number of people infected with HIV remains below 1 million nationwide, the government recently reported that of the 96,000 new cases identified in the first 9 months of 2016, 28% were traced to male homosexual activity, up from 2.5% of new cases in 2006. After the country’s State Council approved a broad 5-year plan to counter the trend in February, local officials met last week to work out details. Among other steps, authorities are investigating new ways of boosting awareness among young gay men, including using mobile phone apps. The government is also considering increasing access to HIV self-test kits and pre-exposure prophylaxis medications, both of which now have only limited availability.