Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Original article
HIV testing in re-education through labour camps in Guangxi Autonomous Region, China (a cross-sectional survey)
  1. Lorraine Yap1,
  2. Joanne Reekie1,
  3. Wei Liu2,
  4. Yi Chen2,
  5. Zunyou Wu3,
  6. Jianghong Li4,5,
  7. Lei Zhang1,7,
  8. Handan Wand1,
  9. Basil Donovan1,6,
  10. Tony Butler1
  1. 1The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  2. 2Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, Guangxi Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nanning, China
  3. 3National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), Beijing, China
  4. 4President's Research Project Group, WZB Berlin Social Research Center, Berlin, Germany
  5. 5The Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  6. 6Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Sydney Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  7. 7Research Center for Public Health, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Drs Lorraine Yap and Lei Zhang, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia;;


Objective HIV testing is mandatory in re-education-through-labour camps (laojiaosuo) in China yet no studies have reported on the process.

Methods The survey response rate was 100% although 29 detainees were excluded because they were under 18 years of age. A cross-sectional face-to-face survey was conducted in three labour camps in Guangxi, located in the south-western region of China.

Results Of the 755 detainees surveyed, 725 (96%) reported having a blood test in the labour camps of whom 493 (68%) thought this included an HIV test. 61 detainees self-reported they were HIV infected, their status confirmed by medical records, if available. Of these, 53 (87%) recalled receiving post-test HIV education, and 15 (25%) were currently receiving HIV antiretroviral therapy. Pretest education on HIV was provided to 233/725 (32%) detainees. The study further reports on detainees’ reactions and feelings towards non-disclosure and disclosure of their HIV test results in the labour camps.

Conclusions Mandatory testing is almost universal in the labour camps although a proportion of detainees were unaware that this included an HIV test. HIV test results should be disclosed to all labour camp detainees to reduce their distress of not knowing and prevent misconceptions about their HIV status. Labour camps provide another opportunity to implement universal treatment (‘Test and Treat’) to prevent the spread of HIV.

  • HIV

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Abstract in Chinese Mandarin

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.