Sexual illiteracy is creating an HIV crisis in China

Sexual illiteracy is creating an HIV crisis in China

The world is seeing fewer cases of HIV every year, but in China, the number is growing rapidly. Experts say a lack of sexual education is causing the spread of the disease. 

Poor sexual literacy in China has contributed to a rapid growth in the number of people who have contracted HIV over the past decade, even as the disease continues to abate worldwide. 

The Chinese National Health Commission reported that 131,000 people contracted the disease in 2019. In 2007 the number of new cases was just under 33,000.

In 2018, the Commission said it estimated new HIV patients are growing at a rate of about 80,000 people per year, although that data does not distinguish between people who just contracted the virus or those who may have had it for awhile without knowing.

By comparison, the US reported just under 38,000 new cases in 2018. In 2019, the global number of people newly infected with HIV was 1.7 million people. Those numbers also came at the end of a consistent decline in the number of new global cases over the past decade.