Health

People infected with HIV skyrocket due to the sex search application


ChinaThe popular dating application among young people and the lonely life of the elderly causes the rate of sexually transmitted HIV infection to increase rapidly.

As dating apps become popular, finding Chinese “sex partners” becomes more convenient. However, the “gap” in sex education in schools causes many young people to become infected with HIV / AIDS.

“The dating app accelerates the spread of the disease,” said Xiao Dong, director of the Man Wellness Center, Beijing-based HIV testing center.

It is not only young Chinese who are at risk of sexually transmitted HIV infection. In the elderly, loneliness and lack of sexuality are also responsible for the rapid increase in new HIV infections.

According to the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of HIV infections among people over the age of 50 increased more than 11 times between 2007 and 2017 (from 2,565 to 29,860 cases per year).

Shao Yiming, leading HIV specialist at the CDC, said the oldest patient with HIV is 93 years old.

“At 91 years old, this person is very healthy, but HIV infection at age 93”, Mr. Shao said.

The increase in HIV prevalence in China over the past decade has run counter to global trends.

In 2019, the National Health Commission of China recorded 131,000 people living with HIV. In 2007, the figure was just under 33,000. By 2020, 95% of new HIV infections will be sexually transmitted, 70% will be from heterosexual partners.

Meanwhile, in the US in 2018 there were only 38,000 new infections. In 2019, the number of HIV-infected patients worldwide is 1.7 million.

Xiao said he is urging the Chinese government to call on tech companies to do more to protect the young generation and spread their knowledge about safe sex.

Dating apps “need to be socially responsible. They have to do it,” Xiao said.

Chinese people have blood tests to confirm HIV. Image: SCMP

Before technology changed to China, the government repeatedly shied away from its responsibility to provide comprehensive sex education for children. Only recently did they start doing this.

Over the past few decades, Chinese schools have asked students to do fertility self-study during biological classes or only teach a few sessions about the menstrual cycle. Correct sexual behavior, ways of building relationships with people of the opposite sex or issues of gender and gender identity are often overlooked, or completely ignored.

Zhang Renjie, director of the Red Ribbon Center for Social Services, a group of non-government activists for public health, based in Suzhou city, said that Chinese teenagers “often don’t know how to say no to sexually ask for the kind of sex they want.

Huang Haojie, executive director of the Wuhan LGBT Center, said: “We have heard of HIV-infected patients aged 13-15. Most of them are sexually transmitted.”

The number of new HIV patients between the ages of 10 and 15 increased from 881 to 3,388 a year between 2007 and 2017, according to CDC China data.

In 2017 and 2018, when Huang taught new students about the risk of HIV infection, an official asked him to avoid talking about specific sexual acts or displaying condoms, because that was too ” sensitive “to people 18-20 years old.

However, HIV infection causes this thinking to change rapidly. In 2019, the same university begged Huang to discuss details about sex and how to use condoms, because the school found that a few students were infected with HIV.

In November 2019, China forced sex education in schools as it struggled with harassment, gender inequality and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Huang said most Chinese society believes gay people will be infected with HIV. That is a misconception. “Some schools tell students not to be gay or to not try to be gay for the pleasure of getting HIV,” Xiao said.

Students at a high school in China receive sex education.  Photo: SCMP

Students at a high school in China receive sex education. Image: SCMP

Another demographic hit hard by the growing HIV crisis is Elderly.

In the past three decades, the urbanization process in China has taken place rapidly. Millions of young people are leaving rural areas and small towns in search of better job opportunities in cities. As a result, many old people are left alone. They feel the loneliness deeply and are looking for a new partner to improve the situation.

Lots of older people take safety precautions because they don’t think they are at risk of transmission. They think HIV is a disease of young people.

“Most adults do not like to talk about their sex lives with others,” Zhang said. They end up using obsolete knowledge between a time when HIV is spreading and the risk of infection is increasing. higher than before. “

However, for some experts, the reality of new HIV cases in China that are sexually transmitted is a good sign.

Previously, China encountered problems with poor medical standards. People become infected with HIV when they donate blood or take blood transfusions.

In fact, Huang said, these new infections are actually sexually transmitted, just like the rest of the world.

In the mid-1990s, the Henan government launched a campaign to encourage poor farmers to donate blood to meet the growing demand for plasma from biotech companies.

The campaign had very poor medical conditions and reused blood collection equipment. As a result, a large number of farmers became infected with HIV from selling blood.

Some reports indicate that more than a million people have been infected with HIV through this program, but the exact number is still a matter of controversy.

Thao Anh (According to the SCMP)

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