The AIDS virus is infecting more women, heterosexual couples and gay men in China as the epidemic spreads from intravenous drug users to the general population, a study has found.
Infections transmitted by heterosexual contact rose to 38 percent of all cases in 2006, according to a study in Yunnan province. The proportion of cases in intravenous drug abusers in Yunnan declined to 40 percent that year after accounting for 100 percent of all infections in 1989. Nationally, infections have risen in women and shot up eightfold among men who have sex with other men.
The study, to be published tomorrow in the journal Nature, reported data from Yunnan, a major site of the AIDS epidemic in southwestern China. Chinese researchers who collaborated on the study cited a “dramatic increase in sexual transmission” that overcame prevention programs.