• Getting tested for HIV is one of the ways to prevent the spread of the virus to others.

Getting tested for HIV is one of the ways to prevent the spread of the virus to others. (Photo : Reuters)

The National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Ministry of Education have said via a notice that they are increasing efforts on HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) prevention in universities, where according to their data, men having sex with men are causing a rapid increase in HIV/AIDS cases in China.

Like Us on Facebook

Their notice said that the number of young students who carry the HIV virus has increased in recent years, with a significant portion of those infections resulting from sex between men.

According to the notice, the main obstacles in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS is the lack of communication between education and health authorities and the lack of classes devoted to AIDS prevention.

Local health authorities are required to report the situation of HIV carriers on campus at least once every six months to local education authorities.

As part of the measures to prevent the spread of the virus, authorities are requiring junior high school students to take at least six classes on AIDS prevention. Senior high school students will be required four classes, while college students will be required to take at least one class every academic year.

From Jan. to Oct. 2014, Beijing registered a total of 2,932 new cases of HIV infections, a 21-percent increase from the same time period in 2013. According to the statistics released in Nov. 2014, more than 100 of those affected were students.

Between 2008 and 2012, the number of those between the ages of 15 and 24 who were infected with HIV almost doubled, with men having sex with men seen as the most common cause.

Universities in Beijing are currently expected to install condom vending machines to foster the idea of safe sex. The notice has also required schools to provide students with the contact information of HIV/AIDS consultants.

In many places around the world, men who have sex with men (MSM) are usually the most likely to have HIV/AIDS. MSM is a category for men who practice sex with other men, regardless of their self-determined gender identity, excluding gay males who have no sexual experience.

One of the reasons cited is that HIV is more easily transmitted through unprotected anal intercourse than unprotected vaginal intercourse. Many who belong to the MSM community also forego condoms, due to the lack of risk of pregnancy.