Down Low in Beijing - Chinese women at risk  

ExpatAdventurer 56M
17 posts
5/4/2005 7:20 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Down Low in Beijing - Chinese women at risk

Women in China like to think that AIDS is not too big an issue. However, there is a phenomenon that is not truly appreciated.

I read recently that a young black woman in America was twenty times more likely to catch HIV than a young white woman. This enormous difference was attributed primarily to "Down Low".

The term comes from a song of that name by somebody called Kelly who I have never heard of. It is used to describe the fact that many black American men regularly have sex with other men. These people apparently don't consider themselves to be bi, and more importantly, neither do their wives or girlfriends.

I should emphasize that I am not against bis or gays. These people understand the risks involved and these days take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of infection/transmission.

The problem seems to be the element of denial and the fact that these people don't fall into the sterotypical bi profile. The end result is unprotected sex amongst people at high risk. Hence the appaling statistic of a 20X increase in the risk of infection.

So what has this to do with Beijing or China?

It would appear that the same phenomenon exists amongst Chinese men. Moreover, there is a an additional risk. My own experiences in China tend to confirm this speculation, which inevitably does not get the publicity that Down Low gets in America (do a google search on Down Low if you are interested).

Certainly when I have been on business trips to China and visited the large Saunas and bath houses (particularly in Beijing) the feeling I got was that there was more than just friendship being shown by many of the men to each other.

The added risk is that it is very very very rare to find any man in China who has not availed himself of the use of a prostitute. Karaoke bars are invariably fronts for prostitution and corporate entertaining frequently involves the payment for such services. Moreover, condoms are still not insisted upon by most girls.

Add to this the fact that China may publicize the risk of AIDS, but never address issues like "Down Low" and you have a major problem brewing.

So if you're a sexually active girl in China, it doesn't matter whether it's your husband, fiance, regular boyfriend, occasional lover or one-night stand, "if it's not on, it's not on".

All you Chinese ladies, please post a comment and let me know whether "Down Low" is a risk that you're aware of. the more comments, the more publicity for the blog, the more people will read it, the more awareness, the lower the risk. That's got to be good for all of us. So please, please comment.

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