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China Launches Campaign to Break Sex Taboos

February 17, 2009

Its organizers hope a new sex education campaign, "The sunshine project to care for gender health," will help break the taboos that make sexual matters "painful topics" for many Chinese.

The Health Ministry reports that while gonorrhea cases were down last year, the nation saw a one-fifth rise in syphilis, with 257,474 cases reported. China's 2007 estimate of 700,000 HIV cases is believed to be well below the true figure. Just 7 percent of women and 8 percent of men say they seek immediate medical help for sexual problems, and more than one-third say they never seek such help.

"These numbers are shocking," said Xia Enlan, head of the obstetrics and gynecology department at the Capital University of Sciences Fuxing Hospital. Government campaigns to promote condom use notwithstanding, Xia said "people are not very open" to discussions regarding sex, a problem she blamed on "the influence of feudalistic thinking."

"The numbers who get medical attention for sexual problems are extremely small," Xia said. "This delays treatment for some very serious diseases."

The new campaign's "image ambassadors" will be Hong Kong star Yvonne Yung and her husband Will Liu. The outreach will include posters, competitions, and an international sex toy fair in Beijing.

Back to other news for February 2009

Adapted from:
Reuters Life!
02.15.2009; Ben Blanchard

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.
See Also
Chinese HIV/AIDS Organizations
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention in China


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