Over 30 students in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province, were infected with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2014, with 80 percent of transmissions through male-to-male sex, according to the local health authority.
A total of 37 students in Ningbo were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS as of the end of 2014, and 11 of the cases were identified in 2014 alone, according to an article published by Ningbo center for disease control and prevention on its public WeChat account Thursday.
Thirty one out of the 37 carriers are college students, and the rest are middle school students, according to the article.
Zhang Yan, an official with the center, said that the purpose of releasing the statistics is to encourage students to practice safe sex, as most people who believe school is an "ivory tower" lowered their guard, the Zhejiang-based Qianjiang Evening News reported.
The article was widely circulated after its release, but the center removed it from its site late Friday.
Infections among students are on the rise nationwide. The number of people aged between 15 and 24 infected HIV/AIDS almost doubled from 2008 to 2012, with male-to-male sex as the most common vector, the Xinhua News Agency reported in 2014.
Liu Wei, a Beijing lawyer and a member of the Beijing Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control, told the Global Times that the key to prevent further infections is to introduce classes on safe sex and STD prevention to all middle schools.
"Young people are unaware of the importance of condoms in preventing HIV/AIDS, and most of them believe condoms are just for preventing pregnancy," Liu said, adding that condoms are seldom used in male-to-male sex among young people in China.
Liu said the HIV/AIDS prevention education must be introduced to young people before they learn any sex-related information from unofficial channels.
Ningbo health departments have collaborated with local education authority to promote safe sex education and HIV/AIDS prevention in middle schools and colleges. They will also step up efforts in testing the virus among students, Zhang said.
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