Shenzhen health authority’s promotion of safe sex wins support from netizens

Two female students are looking at the AIDs urine test kits in a vending machine at Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Photo: VCG

Attractively-plotted stories full of upbeat and lighthearted words describing sex-related terms to popularize AIDS prevention published by the health authority in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province, made the official WeChat account one of the most popular of its kind among Chinese web users. 

One of the articles published by the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission on Tuesday, World AIDS Day, stood out from a slew of AIDS prevention popular science articles with its eye-catching headline — using the internet slang for “chrysanthemum” to refer to the human anus. The fact it broke the trend of other local governments’ rather impersonal social media posts was warmly welcomed by web users. 

The article told a romantic love story between a gay couple who unfortunately contracted AIDS. 

Unlike normal popular science articles about AIDS prevention that use professional and scientific terms, the article instead used a lot of online slang and popular terms used among the gay community.

The interesting phrases include the metaphor of “chrysanthemum” for the human anus, and “buludi” for Blued, a popular social media app for the gay community, as well as a homophone meaning “not masturbating by oneself” in Chinese. It also described anal sex as “entering through the back door.”

The article noted that having anal sex without using a condom makes sexual intercourse extremely dangerous and reminded people to visit AIDS prevention clinics for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medicine after high-risk sexual behaviors. 

The man at the end of the story contracted AIDS as his partner refused to wear a condom. The article made clear that although there was nothing wrong with his sexual orientation, it was wrong that he chose not to protect himself. 

In another popular article, it clarified common misunderstandings about the spread of AIDS. It addressed questions like whether kissing with oral ulcers or oral sex can spread AIDS; whether people can contract AIDS through injured genital organs bitten by HIV-infected people; and whether HIV-infected couples should have sex without a condom. 

These articles as well as other articles published earlier received 100,000-plus clicks on the official account. Thousands of web users suggested that the writers of the account should be paid a 100,000-yuan ($15,219) salary. Many netizens said that they never miss any content published by the account.

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