Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Sex and Drugs and (no) Rock ‘n Roll

I've been puzzling over this all day.

China Daily LogoThere is a somewhat confusing article in China Daily today (23rd February) on HIV/AIDS and drug abuse in Liuzhou.

According to the article, "…Liuzhou has, since the 1980s, become a passage for narcotics trafficking from the notorious Golden Triangle. The city has a population of 3.64 million, and now has more than 9,000 drug addicts on police record. About 21 per cent of them test positive for HIV."

These figures are somewhat at odds with figures given in December*. Then it was claimed that there were 4,900 registered drug users in Liuzhou. Yet another article mentioned 3,000 users for the whole of Guangxi!

The China Daily article also discusses HIV rates among sex workers in the city.

"Since 2000, the sexually transmitted HIV infection rate has grown from 0.5 per cent to around 9.5 per cent. For women engaged in the illegal sex business, the figure is 1.5 per cent. According to a 2002 survey, the city had about 5,000 women engaged."

If anyone can explain this, I'd be more than grateful. 9.5% of what. 1.5% of what? 5,000 women are engaged? (presumably not to be married, but as sex workers).

Click on the China Daily logo for the full story.

NOTE: Should you need to know, condoms (including Durex) are widely available. Jia Yong Supermarket stock them on the second floor near the top of the escalators. Also note that China's State Family Planning Commission revealed last year that Chinese men buy approximately three condoms per year and 30 to 40 percent of these condoms are defective.

*The December story was about the setting up of a needle exchange program which had been established in the city the day before. This was funded by the Australian Development Agency who donated to three countries, Burma, Vietnam and China (Guangxi and Yunnan).

It was reported that only man had used the service in the first week. Staff were putting on a brave face and saying that people didn't yet know about the scheme, but the newspaper also mentioned that most drug users wish to remain anonymous and are unlikely to come forward.

(This is largely lifted (with my own permission) from the Liuzhou Overseas website, where you can find a fuller version with links to cited articles.)

. This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005 at 6:15 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Sex and Drugs and (no) Rock ‘n Roll”

  1. eswn Says:

    okay, i’ll try to answer the questions, with the reminder that this is guesswork based upon the information.

    (1) 9,000 addicts on police record and 4,900 registered drug addicts.there are two different concepts:being on police record and being registered.for example,if i was caught last month and sent to jail,i would be on police record but not currently registered as a user.there are other gaps between the police records and registry that you can imagine.for one thing, the police record figure is obtained by asking how many unique persons were arrested one or more times during a given period of time (e.g. last 5 years),and some of those people may have died or left the city since.i am not sure who is on a drug user registry, whether this is by law, by doctor’s orders or by choice. but i don’t know how to reconcile the 3,000 number for Guangxi province.

    (2) again,i believe there are two different concepts.’ST HIV infection rate has grown from 0.5 percent to 9.5 percent’ can be take to mean that of all the 260,000 migrant workers (mentioned in the preceding sentence), 0.5% in 2000 were ST HIV infected and today 9.5% were ST HIV this point, there should be a new paragraph to separate it from what follows next: there are 5,000 illegal sex workers in 2002, of which 1.5% are HIV infected.

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks for that. Plausable.

    Either that or they just make up figures as they go along! (They wouldn’t do that,would they?)

    Is it likely that transient workers would have an HIV rate almost 10 times higher than prostitutes?

  3. eswn Says:

    i work as a statistician, which means i am suspicious of all statistics.

    question 1: how many illegal sex workers are going to hang around and be interviewed? not many. so who knows if that number is really 5,000 or a lot more.

    question 2: of the illegal sex workers who hang around and admit to be such, how many will agree to an HIV test? are you crazy? so who know where that HIV infection incidence came from?

  4. admin Says:

    Good points

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