China: Beijing Opens First Clinic for Gays
October 30, 2006
On Thursday, Beijing opened its first STD clinic targeting gays for free screening of STDs and HIV and free STD treatment. The clinic is a joint undertaking by the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Chaoyang Chinese AIDS Volunteer Group and the Chaoyang District's Disease Prevention and Control Center.
Funding through local health officials will allow the center to offer free screenings and treatment for one year; the clinic does not offer free AIDS treatment. Clients who test positive for HIV will be referred to the national free treatment program and will receive free regular examinations, said Xiao Dong, head of the NGO.
According to the Health Ministry, China's free AIDS treatment program has spent about 288 million yuan ($36 million US) in the past three years, comprising 14.3 percent of total AIDS spending. The program reaches 25,000 patients in 623 counties in 31 provinces, and 516 patients age 15 and below in 14 provinces.
People who wish to visit the clinic must first fill out an application through the NGO's Web site. Examinations will be anonymous, said Xiao, and transportation costs will be compensated with a 50 yuan ($6.30 US) mobile phone recharge card.
The clinic is located at the disease prevention and control center. Xiao hopes soon to offer services through two or three community hospitals to provide more convenience and confidentiality.
Xinhua News Service
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.