China: In the Dark About Safe Sex

Cases up by more than 130 per cent in five years among men aged 60 and over

HIV and Aids infection rates are rising among elderly Chinese, due to a lack of understanding about safe sex and a reluctance to discuss it with doctors, a Shanghai-based online news outlet reported on Tuesday.

“More and more elderly people are being infected,” quoted a Hangzhou Disease Control and Prevention Centre official as saying.

“The biggest reason is that the elderly lack awareness of self-protection and do not know much about Aids. They are not used to using condoms and are uncomfortable going to the doctor about this.”

Medical staff at the centre said the earlier the virus was detected, the better the treatment prospects but elderly people were more likely to report the disease at a later stage and so had a greater risk of dying from HIV/Aids.

The centre urged people to get tested if they have ever had an extramarital affair, had gay sex, or thought their partner had.

The report said the biggest increase in infection was among Chinese men aged 60 and older, with the number of new HIV/Aids cases up 136 per cent in five years from 8,391 in 2012 to 19,815 in 2017.

More elderly men were becoming infected through extramarital affairs, although gay sex also was a major factor, according to the report. Elderly women were most likely to contract the disease through their male partners, it said. Read more via South China Morning Post