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UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. AFP Climbing rates of HIV infection in northwestern China's Xinjiang region, with the early spread of the disease driven mainly by drug use, are now the result of a burgeoning sex trade in the region's mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghur south, sources say.
The southern prefectures of Hoten in Chinese, Hotien and Kashgar Kashi have been especially hard hit, sources say, with growing numbers of brothels disguised as barber shops, massage parlors, and "spas" set up by Han Chinese migrants to the towns.
Young Uyghur farmers and government workers are now those most frequently infected, the owner of one Kashgar clinic told RFA's Uyghur Service. The brothel owners "are all from Chinese cities — they are all Han Chinese," the clinic owner said. Numbers climbing By the end of October, 38, cases of persons currently infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS had been reported in Xinjiang, with 62 percent of these cases believed to have resulted from sexual activity, according to a Nov.
The rate of sexually transmitted infection in Xinjiang may be even higher, though, Memet Imin, a senior researcher at the Medical Research Center of New York's Columbia University, said. Since the first case of AIDS was reported in , the disease has spread at a rate of 25 to 30 percent each year, Imin said, "and from October to October we have seen that more than 85 percent of newly registered cases contracted the virus through sexual contact.
Translated by Mamatjan Juma. Written in English by Richard Finney. Search Refworld.