New York Times Examines Grassroots HIV Efforts Aimed at Gay Men in China

The New York Times examines grassroots HIV/AIDS outreach and testing efforts aimed at gay men in China. The newspaper highlights "Lingnan Health Center, an organization run largely by gay volunteers," and recounts the story of Le, "a gay man who would give only his first name." The newspaper writes he is "one of thousands of gay men in [the city of Guangzhou] who are benefiting from a pioneering experiment that supporters hope will revolutionize the way the Communist Party deals with non-government groups trying to stop the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases."

"Encouraged by the new slate of leaders who came to power in November, civil society activists hope the model taking shape here in the prosperous southern province of Guangdong, which has long served as a petri dish for economic reform, will be replicated nationally, not just in the fight against disease but also on issues like poverty, mental health and the environment," the New York Times notes. The newspaper discusses a number of ongoing challenges, and writes, "While China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention has allowed community organizations across the country to participate in disease testing programs since 2008, in practice those efforts remain patchy." However, "Chinese health officials say cooperation with grassroots organizations is beginning to transform the government's approach to" gay issues and HIV prevention, according to the newspaper (Levin, 1/2).