China launches campaign to break sex taboos

Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:03am EST
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By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - China on Sunday launched a national sex education campaign aimed at breaking traditional taboos and getting more people to seek treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and infertility.

Just seven percent of women and slightly more than eight percent of men seek immediate medical help for sexual problems, while more a third of people never seek help, said one of the campaign's advisors.

"These numbers are shocking," Xia Enlan, head of the obstetrics and gynecology department of the Capital University of Sciences' Fuxing Hospital, told a news conference.

"The numbers who get medical attention for sexual problems are extremely small," she added. "This delays treatment for some very serious diseases."

The campaign, called "The sunshine project to care for gender health," will feature posters, competitions and sponsorship of an international sex toy fair in Beijing, organizers said, in a bid to breach "painful topics" of sex.

It will be fronted by Hong Kong starlet Yvonne Yung and her husband Will Liu, who will be the campaign's "image ambassadors."

"Sexual health is an important part of family life and good for helping build a harmonious society," said Cui Yandi of the China Woman and Child Development Center, one of the program's main sponsors.

China reported a one-fifth rise in syphilis last year, with a total of 257,474 cases, according to the Health Ministry, though gonorrhea cases dropped by a tenth.   Continued...