Domestic News

HIV test kits on sale in university machines

HARBIN Medical University is the second university in Heilongjiang Province to sell HIV test kits in a vending machine.
It is part of a program launched by the Chinese Association of STD and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control to address HIV transmission on campus.
Nine such vending machines had been installed in five universities across the country by the end of 2016, the association says.
The machine is designed with a deposit drawer, but looks just like any other and, alongside the kits, sells snacks, cup noodle, and drinks, Xinhua reporters saw.
A kit is sold at a discounted price of 30 yuan (US$4.38), compared to 286 yuan on the market.
Zhao Donghui, an HIV specialist with the Heilongjiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explained the procedure: a test-taker buys the kit, collects his urine sample, and drops it back to the deposit drawer.
Staff at the provincial CDC will be notified by a sensor wired to the drawer. They will come to retrieve the sample, do the testing, and post it online, he added.
Only the test-taker can view the results once they log on the center’s website and enter a specific code number, Zhao said.
“The whole process is anonymous,” he said.
China had 654,000 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) at the end of September 2016, according to figures revealed by the China CDC.
Sexual transmission accounted for 94 percent of the 96,000 new cases reported in the nine months last year, it said. Young students and retirees are found to be the two groups where infection rose most rapidly.
There were 2,321 students aged between 15 to 24 tested positive, more than four times the figure in 2010, it added.
Wu Zunyou, head of the AIDS and HIV prevention under China CDC, said the rise of new HIV cases on campus, especially among young men, should sound a warning.?