See anything odd with these pictures? (L) A man restocks a vending machine inside Southwest Petroleum University in Nanchong, Sichuan Province. (R) The machine dispenses HIV test kits. (Photo : Ruptly TV/YouTube)
As one vending machine dispenses steaks and sausages for Parisians and another one, albeit for a limited time, offered champagne to Americans, there is also a vending machine that Chinese students could go to after committing what could be a promiscuous deed.
A vending machine selling HIV test kits occupies a space inside Harbin Medical University in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, reported Xinhua.
A project of the Chinese Association of STD/AIDS Prevention and Control, the machine comes with a deposit box equipped with a sensor.
The test kit shall be used to collect one’s urine. The urine sample will be deposited in that box.
Once a sample is placed inside, the sensor will then notify the Heilongjiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to Zhao Donghui, an HIV specialist at the said center, the CDC staff will get the sample.
Back at the center, they will conduct the test and post the result online.
The student who took the test shall receive a code that will be used to gain access to the result via the center’s website.
Zhao said to Xinhua that the center carries out the procedure in a confidential manner.
Except for the presence of the said test kits and the deposit box, the machine appears and functions like any other regular vending machines. It still dispenses common items, such as snacks and refreshments.
At 30 yuan, the test kit proves to be cheaper than those sold elsewhere, which could cost more than 280 yuan.
According to the Chinese Association of STD/AIDS Prevention and Control, five other universities in China welcomed these vending machines dispensing HIV test kits in their respective campuses in 2016.
Not the first time, not the only one
In July 2016, HIV test kits started to appear in two vending machines in Southwest Petroleum University in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, reported China Daily.
The university hospital initially receives the urine sample.
SWPU runs an office dedicated to AIDS awareness. This office gathers student volunteers who shall be tasked to collect the urine samples twice a day and hand them to the university hospital.
Then the samples will be delivered to the CDC in Chengdu.
Schools across China supported the project.
Li Yang, an SWPU information officer, said to China Daily that such vending machines operate in 20 universities in China based in 16 provinces--some in Beijing--including Heilongjiang and Yunnan.
The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Public Security joined forces to establish the Chinese Association of STD/AIDS Prevention and Control in Nov. 1983.
From Jan.-Sept. 2016, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the total number of new HIV infections registered at 96,000, reported AVERT, a site spreading information about HIV and AIDS.
For the entire stretch of 2015, according to China Health and Family Planning Commission and National Center for STD/AIDS Prevention and Control, there were 115,000 new HIV cases recorded.
When 2014 concluded, the number of people in China living with HIV reached 296,000, according to NHFPC’s “2015 China AIDS Response Progress Report” released in May 2015.
As for AIDS patients, they totaled 205,000.
The report revealed that 159,000 died due to HIV/AIDS-related causes in 2014.
HIV--human immunodeficiency virus--destroys the capacity of the body to protect itself from viruses and harmful bacteria.
Simply put, it wreaks havoc on the body’s immune system.
HIV could progress to AIDS or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
As there are no drugs yet that can completely cure HIV and AIDS, PLWHA--people living with HIV/AIDS--merely rely on certain medications including traditional alternatives to control the virus and deal with the infection.