According to Yu Jingjin, director of the bureau of disease control and prevention under the National Health and Family Planning Commission, 1,700 Chinese students contracted the HIV virus in 2012. This was an increase of 24.5 percent from the previous year. Approximately 64.8 percent of the students contracted the virus through sex with people of the same gender, and 87 percent of the cases were sexually transmitted. Yu stated that, at present, more than 7,000 students in China have HIV/AIDS.
Wang Ning, deputy director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, stated that most of the 1,700 new HIV cases were male students. Wang attributed some of the increase in new cases to the fact that more people are taking HIV tests. The number of tests taken nationwide rose from more than 60 million in 2010 to 100 million in 2012, with a corresponding increase in the number of cases. He added that more gay people are taking HIV tests and cited a more open attitude toward sex and unsafe sex as another reason for the increase in infection.
Statistics from the former health ministry indicate that 84.9 percent of the new HIV cases reported from January to October 2012 were contracted through sex, and 21 percent of the cases were among men who had sex with men. The statistics also report 17,740 deaths between January and October 2012 from HIV/AIDS, an 8.6-percent increase over 2011.
Ye Dawei, deputy secretary-general of the China Red Ribbon Foundation, a nongovernment organization working to prevent HIV and support persons affected by HIV, said that lack of knowledge about safe sex increased young peoples’ contracting the disease. He commented that schools and parents are not educating youth about safe sex and in today’s society, there is more temptation for youth through the Internet. The foundation conducts a program to educate college students and migrant workers about HIV/AIDS prevention and has reached out to more than 5,000 students in 200 universities in China.