Sex Is Most Common Cause of HIV in China

Society struggles with openness as virus spreads beyond IV-drug users
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 20, 2007 8:28 PM CDT
Condoms are distributed for free to construction workers in front...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Unsafe sex has become the most common means of transmission of HIV in China, edging out IV-drug use and blood transfusions, the BBC reports. That points to the need to focus prevention efforts on mainstream sexual practices—not just those of high-risk groups—which poses a daunting challenge in a country with conservative attitudes about sex.

The stigma associated with AIDS often stops people from being tested, and the estimate that 650,000 Chinese are HIV positive is considered low. Sexual behaviors are changing as large populations of male migrant workers visit prostitutes more often, and premarital sex becomes more acceptable.