China's Henan Province Offering Free HIV, STD Testing to Men Who Have Sex With Men
January 12, 2006
Government officials in Central China's Henan Province are offering health examinations at no cost to men who have sex with men in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, Xinhua/China Daily reports. The tests will be administered as part of a joint research project conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health, according to Wang Zhe, vice director of the province's disease control and prevention center. The project will provide exams for 200 MSM, and the ministries will collaborate with local advocacy groups to recruit participants, whose identities will remain anonymous and their information confidential. Researchers plan to learn about participants' families, marital status, sexual orientation and behaviors, by distributing questionnaires to the men. They will gather more information about the prevalence of STDs among the group by assessing the tests' results. The program marks the first time a provincial-level government has launched such a project, according to Wang. The exams are expected to be offered in nine cities in the province, including Chengdu, Chongqing and Nanjing (Xinhua/China Daily, 1/11).
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