An uptick in AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) among Beijing youth has alarmed health authorities. According to the latest statistics from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education (BMCE), college students accounted for half of the city’s HIV positive patients. Male college students accounted for 98 percent of them.
According to BMCE statistics about AIDS occurrence among Beijing’s colleges and universities released on March 20, 1,244 college students in Beijing are infected with HIV, including 722 from ages 18 to 22, 50 more than last year. In the 59 colleges and universities in Beijing, male students accounted for 98.48 percent. Contraction among male homosexuals reached 86.7 percent.
According to researcher Wu Zunyou, an expert committee member of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS and the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), the number of college students infected with HIV has been on the rise since 2008, with an average increase of around 10 percent every year.
However, the AIDS epidemic in China is much more serious than official statistics suggest. In the 1990s, scores of poor farmers, especially those clustered in Henan and Anhui provinces, contracted AIDS after using contaminated needles to sell their blood plasma. The phenomenon has led to the existence of so-called “AIDS villages” throughout the region—but the Chinese regime has continually denied and covered up the severity of the AIDS epidemic, including cracking down on rights activists who advocate for better treatment.
Gao Yaojie, visiting scholar at Columbia University and author of seven books about the AIDS epidemic in China, told Voice of America in a December 2014 interview that AIDS victims in China are estimated to reach more than 10 million people.