Pic info: Fan Bingbingâs edited selfies.
A Chinese university has started selling affordable HIV urine test kits in an attempt to curb the rapid rise of the disease amongst the countryâs youth.
Photos being shared on social media sites show the 30 RMB (3 GBP) kit being sold inside a vending machine - right next to instant noodles and other snacks.
The appearance of the test kits, which cost just 10 percent of the reported market price, in the Southwest Petroleum University in Nanchong City, in south-western China, signifies the Chinese governmentâs newfound urgency in battling the issue.
While HIV affects a relatively small amount of Mainland Chinese people, the illness appears to be on the rise amongst the countryâs youth, who have received notoriously poor sex education over the years.
Amongst those affected, reports in local media said young secondary school and university students stand out, particularly young men who have had sex with other men.
HIV and AIDS awareness, which is a topic seriously lacking in the Chinese curriculum, is one closely followed by Chinaâs First Lady Peng Liyuan, but it will be difficult to change decades of mass discrimination towards those suffering the epidemic.
HIV-positive patients in China have a tendency to be shunned by their acquaintances and even their own families because of a supposed link to homosexuality, making them even more unlikely to speak up or seek professional help.
But affordable and accessible testing methods, such as offering kits through vending machines, may be a way forward for the rising amount of afflicted youth.
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), there are over half a million people living with the disease in China.
But reports citing research done at universities in Nanchang City, capital of East Chinaâs Jiangxi Province, showed that there was a 43 percent year-on-year rise in infection rates amongst young students, and 80 percent of those occurred
Students at a Chinese university now have the option to test themselves for HIV at their convenience, as they can now purchase affordable testing kits in vending machines.
The urine test kits cost approximately $4.40 and are sold next to instant noodles and other snacks at Southwest Petroleum University in Nanchong City in southwestern China. According to AsiaWire, this move signifies the Chinese government’s newfound urgency in battling HIV, which is on rapid rise among the country’s youth. There are over a half a million people living with the disease in China, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
There was a 43 percent year-over-year increase in infection rates among young students and 80 percent of those occurred from same-sex encounters, according to reports citing research from universities in Nanching City, AsiaWire reported.
The increase of HIV is particularly noticeable amongst young men who engage in sex with other men, AsiaWire reported. The Chinese curriculum does not adequately teach HIV and AIDS awareness and HIV-positive patients tend to be shunned by their acquaintances and their families. Patients are even less likely to speak up or seek professional help due to the diseases’ link to homosexuality.