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HIV Testing Kit Now Being Sold in Vending Machines in China

Oct 26, 2016 05:05 AM EDT

Students at China's Southwest Petroleum University in Sichuan Province could now easily buy testing kits for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in vending machines throughout the campus.

The HIV diagnostic kits are displayed alongside several snack and drinks and can be bought for only $4.4. Students could easily use the testing kits. They just need to take a urine sample and send it to a lab to be tested. The whole testing process can be done anonymously and can be checked online.

According to the report from Fox News, the availability of HIV testing kits at the vending machines was made as part of China's battle tactic in waging a war against the dreadful disease. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that over half a million people living in China are diagnosed with HIV.

Furthermore, about 43 percent year-over-year in infection rates among students were recorded between 2010 and 2014. Sichuan Province has a high prevalence of HIV patients and was among the top three provinces in China that contributed to the country' overall cases.

The testing kit being sold in Southwest Petroleum University is a lot cheaper than the regular testing kit. Similar kits can be bought online for $45, $40 more expensive than the $4.4 testing kit in the vending machines. Quartz noted that the testing kits available in the vending machines were subsidized by a charity.

Despite being relatively low compared to the total population of China, about 0.37 percent, the number of Chinese being diagnosed with HIV is still on the rise. Between 2010 and 2014, approximately 200,000 new cases were reported.

In Beijing, at least 100 new cases of HIV among young students were reported every year, while at least 92 cases of young students contacting HIV were reported in Shanghai annually. About 81.6 percent of the increased cases of HIV among young students were caused by men to men activity.

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