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A Chinese University Put HIV Testing Kits In Vending Machines

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Students at a university in China can now test if they’re positive for HIV at their convenience, as testing kits have been made available in vending machines.

The urine tests, which cost around $4.40, are sold next to items like instant noodles and candy bars at the Southwest Petroleum University in Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, reports Fox News. The kits are a lot cheaper than regular testing kits, which can run to about $45.

The kits are fairly simple to use: the user takes a urine sample, and the sample is sent to a lab for testing. The test looks for HIV antibodies, not the virus itself, and results are confirmed using a Western blot. The whole process can be completed anonymously, and can even be checked online. While not as accurate as blood or oral fluid tests, it’s a good measure of whether or not someone might have HIV.

According to AsiaWire, this move reflects the Chinese government’s recent commitment in battling HIV, which is on the rise among its youth. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says that there are over half a million people with the disease in China. Between 2010 and 2014, an estimated 200,000 new cases were reported.

There was a year-over-year increase of 43% in infection rates among students, 80% of them coming from same-sex relations, data from Nanching City universities indicate. Sichuan Province has a high record of HIV cases, and ranked among the top three provinces that added up to China’s overall total, Nature World News reports.

In Beijing, there are at least 100 new HIV cases reported among students every year, while at least 92 student cases are reported in Shanghai yearly.

The Chinese education curriculum does not provide enough HIV and AIDS awareness, as HIV still holds a strong stigma in the country. Those who live with the disease are often shunned by their families and friends, and are less likely to seek professional help because of HIV’s association with homosexuality.


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