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>> An alarming spike in student HIV cases in China, the number rising by at least four times this year alone. Most of the victims young and male, and going untested for a long time. Xiao Ji was 25 when he found out by sheer coincidence. I was in the hospital feeling sick, they did an HIV test without telling me.
When the results came out, they refused to treat me. Ji has no idea how many people he infected. World AIDS Day, homosexuality and STDs are still taboo topics in China, and as a result, they're poorly understood by many people. That's concerning, because HIV AIDS is spreading quickly. Government data shows that in just the first 8 month of this year, 9,000 people died from AIDS and more than 30,000 new cases were diagnosed.
And those are just the cases they know about. Because AIDS is often kept quiet in China, government initiatives to reach out to young people are often more like token gestures. Leaving the tasks to organizations like Danlan, a non-profit advocacy group Partnered with the UN. They say spreading information online is critical.
>> Our reach wasn't nearly as big before the Internet. Now more and more people are doing HIV tests. In the past they just wouldn't have known what was wrong with them.>> Some try for a subtle approach instead. These DIY testing kits sold next to the Cheetos at one college campus in Sichuan, a province with the second highest rate of AIDS in China.
While teachers in schools may not want to talk about STDs, many students are keen to learn more and don't underestimate the gaps in their education. Some young people telling Reuters they don't even know how safe sex can be practiced.