October 23, 2006
Local police criticized as "unacceptable" an AIDS prevention class conducted by the disease control center of northeastern Harbin for more than 50 female sex workers, the Beijing News reported. Most new HIV infections are sexually transmitted in China, where it used to be associated more with intravenous transmission. "The usually underground prostitutes labeled their profession on their foreheads this time. Being unable to crack down, the police were really upset," reported Beijing News. "Education can be carried out in various forms," the newspaper quoted an unnamed officer as saying. "But it is hard for us to accept this kind of public lecture." Prostitution, "wiped out" after China's 1949 Communist revolution, has flourished there since market reforms began in the early 1980s. Police have sometimes used the presence of condoms in a woman's handbag to justify detention for prostitution.