HIV in China

HIV in China: Understanding the Social Aspects of the Epidemic

Jing Jun
Heather Worth
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: UNSW Press
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    HIV in China
    Book Description:

    When China’s first HIV-positive patient was reported in 1985, among those initially infected were peasants who had sold their plasma to international companies. Then it became clear that sex workers and injecting drug users were also becoming infected, and later, transient populations, ethnic groups and the poor. The realisation that HIV was a profoundly social issue had begun to dawn. It was becoming clear that this epidemic was being propelled by three main economic drivers: the blood trade, the drug trade, and the sex trade. In this unique book young Chinese scholars map some of the most important social, political and cultural characteristics of the HIV epidemic in that country. The result of a collaboration between the University of New South Wales and Tsinghua University in Beijing, HIV in China uncovers some hidden truths about the spread of the disease and its social impacts.

    eISBN: 978-1-74223-170-9
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. ix-xi)
  5. [Map]
    (pp. xii-xii)
  6. Introduction: Building HIV Social Research Capacity
    (pp. 1-10)
    Jing Jun and Heather Worth

    Although China’s first case of HIV was diagnosed in 1985 and by the late 1990s hundreds of thousands of confirmed HIV infections had accumulated, social research in HIV was almost non-existent within the People’s Republic. This was partly because HIV was regarded by the Chinese community of social scientists largely as a medical problem and partly because there was little funding for social research on HIV in China before 2000. Fortunately, however, international HIV programs operating in China later welcomed the participation of social scientists. In particular, the China-UK HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Project – launched in 2001 and completed in...

  7. 1 An Overview of China’s HIV Epidemic
    (pp. 11-42)
    Jing Jun and Heather Worth

    The first case of HIV in China was discovered in 1985. By the end of 2007, the Chinese government had declared that China had a total of 223,501 confirmed HIV cases, although it estimated that 700,000 people were living with HIV in China at this date. This estimate was calculated on the basis of HIV prevalence among five populations at risk: injecting drug users; female sex workers; clients of sex workers; those with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and paid blood donors (Jing, 2005). By the end of 2009 this total had risen to 740,000. Considering that China has a population...

  8. 2 Female Sex Workers in China: Their occupational concerns
    (pp. 43-66)
    Huang Yingying

    With a long and complex history, sex work in China can be traced back more than 2000 years (Wang, 1988). Although it was banned after the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, prostitution re-emerged in the late 1980s as China took a further step towards economic reforms and marketisation (Beijing Public Security Bureau, 1998). Illegal, stigmatised and constantly under attack from police, prostitution remains a full-time job for many Chinese women. Although there is no official estimation of the number of female sex workers,¹ UNAIDS estimated that in 2005 there were already 127,000 sex workers and their clients living...

  9. 3 Drugs, HIV and Chinese Youth
    (pp. 67-100)
    Jing Jun

    On a hot day in mid-August 2003, I visited a detention centre in the city of Kunming in the southwestern province of Yunnan. It ran a detoxification program for more than 400 inmates, the majority of whom injected heroin. I was with four health specialists from Beijing to see if an HIV education program could be established there. We had learned that HIV prevalence in the centres for drug detoxification in Yunnan was as high as 30 per cent. After a brief conversation with the commanding officer, he took us to see some of the cells. There were no beds...

  10. 4 ‘Red Oil’: Blood and the role of a machine in the HIV outbreak in central China
    (pp. 101-116)
    Su Chunyan

    From July 2004 to October 2007, I conducted a study of the plasma trade in China by reviewing the existing literature and by interviewing rural people who had been paid plasma donors. I also interviewed doctors and government officials who were familiar with this particular trade. My primary research site was the village of Donghu in Xincai county, Henan province. The population of Donghu was little more than 1,500. Of the 160 people in the village who had been infected with HIV via the plasma trade, half had died by 2004. From Donghu, I moved to the city of Fuyang...

  11. 5 Fears of Identity Exposure among Gay Men Living with HIV
    (pp. 117-138)
    Zhang Yuping

    Chinese gay men who are living with HIV have serious concerns about their identity being exposed via medical and social services. The central argument of this chapter is that keeping the homosexuality and HIV-positive status of these men confidential is the precondition of effective care and treatment. At present, in China’s response to HIV issues of confidentiality are not properly handled, as the delivery of medical or social assistance to people living with HIV often poses a threat to their need for identity protection. In 2008, for example, a policeman in Yunnan province stopped a gang fight and was wounded...

  12. 6 Disclosure and Condom Use after HIV Diagnosis
    (pp. 139-158)
    Sun Yongli

    One of the purposes of the various forms of HIV testing around the world is safer-sex techniques to prevent secondary infections. This explains why counselling services for HIV-positive individuals are required to stress, among other things, the importance of safe sex (Jing, 2005; Ma, 2006). The assumption behind this kind of health advice is that many HIV-positive people will continue to have sex and that some of them will continue to have multiple partners. But for the preventive purpose of HIV testing and counselling to be realised, those living with HIV must use a condom in vaginal or anal intercourse....

  13. 7 The Central Place of the Chinese Family in HIV Narratives
    (pp. 159-174)
    He Mingjie

    This chapter explores how people living with HIV in China perceive and describe their HIV status in relation to their work, their communities and, in particular, their families. The basis of my analysis is an AIDS Oral History Project organised by the AIDS Policy Research Centre at Tsinghua University in Beijing, which has collected a total of 71 personal narratives on HIV. Gathered from five cities and many more rural communities in four provinces, these narratives form a rich and valuable source of information about how people react to the discovery that they have HIV; what concerns they had in...

  14. 8 Stigma and HIV Discourse in China
    (pp. 175-194)
    Zhang Youchun

    HIV is so highly stigmatised worldwide that the stigma attached to it has long been regarded as an epidemic in itself (Herek & Glunt, 1988). Although anti-stigma campaigns have been waged in many countries affected by the HIV epidemic, stigma continues to thrive (Fogarty International Center, 2001). As a prominent figure in HIV once pointed out, stigma imposes a major roadblock for developing effective HIV care and treatment services throughout the world (Piot, 2002). That assessment remains valid today, because one of the many manifestations of stigma is the reluctance of individuals to receive HIV testing or disclose their HIV...

  15. 9 Ethnicity and Gender in Social Research on HIV in China
    (pp. 195-218)
    Huan Jianli

    At the outset, we should note that social research on HIV in China has a short history, mostly because the Chinese community of social scientists until recently regarded the HIV epidemic largely as a medical problem and therefore was slow in recognising the necessity to conduct social research into HIV. Without carrying out research, Chinese social scientists had little to say about HIV. This ‘absence of voice’, as a social anthropologist characterised it (Weng, 2001: 17), continued until a Conference on Social Science for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care in China was held in Beijing in 2001, attended by more than...

  16. Index
    (pp. 219-228)