China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Ministry of Education declared last week that teachers must now cover HIV/AIDS prevention in the classroom.
The move was in conjunction with the announcement that some areas of China are seeing higher rates of HIV/AIDS cases among students than other populations.
Overall, there are currently around half a million people with HIV/AIDS in China, with the possibility of hundreds of thousands of undiagnosed cases, according to the World Health Organization.
Under the requirement, middle school students must attend six hours of classes dealing with HIV/AIDS prevention, while high school students are required to attend four hours of classes. The departments also recommended that schools provide students with information regarding counseling and HIV testing sites.
Implementing the requirement is seen as a bold move for the Chinese government, as it is still coming to terms with the idea that the younger generation is more sexually liberated than older generations.
Sex education, in fact, is not currently taught in most schools in China.
However, a study by Durex, a condom maker, revealed that people in China are losing their virginity at a younger age, with the average currently at 21.2 years. The study also showed that 60 percent of those between the ages of 19 and 25 in China have had sex.
– Matt Wotus