Being a pharmacist here in China gave me the opportunity to discuss with both locals and expats working or studying here about STDs and what they know about it.
One can't ignore the fact that the population of China in 2013 is estimated to be approximately 1.354 billion which poses a big threat if there was an outbreak of a disease here in China. So I started thinking about discussing this with people and exploring their opinions and how they see it.
I know that i didn't include a lot of people in this small self-started study of mine because of the sensitivity of the topic especially in a traditional country like China but at the same time this will give a generalized idea how people in the middle kingdom think which is also something hard to speculate considering the huge diversity in education and cultural exposure.
I classify the people I talked to into 4 groups most of their members are between the ages of 20-30 years old.
the 4 groups are Chinese males, Chinese females, expat males and expat females.
With the first group being the Chinese males most of them don't use protection because "they don't like how it feels" with complete unawareness about STDs and a lack of self-education about the topic.
The second group was very similar, Chinese girls mostly don't use protection due to a lack of knowledge about STDs, what's funnier here is that whenever i ask if they use protection their reply was so naive, mostly they said that they would take the morning after pill and when i further explained my question asking about sexually transmitted diseases they thought i was making a joke because they were sure no one can get sick from having sex!!
When it came to discussing with my fellow expat males who are known for their high sexual activity in China...most of them said they would always use protection in cases of one night stands but they wouldn't use it with a girlfriend. When i asked them whether they got the girls and themselves tested before deciding it was needless to use protection they all said no because they know that Chinese girls are generally not active sexually and don't usually have many bed-partners which is an opinion i don't agree with but i will talk about this later in the post.
The last group here sounds the safest - although not really protected since it's all a closed circle - expat females in China tend to have less sex partners because they are generally not interested in Chinese guys while foreigner males are more into Chinese girls and that leaves foreigner women with less chances. Most of the girls i asked said they will never have sex without using protection and they were generally more educated and more aware what STDs are.
The lack of sex education here in China is definitely one of the causes and it's ironic how Chinese are becoming more accepting of polygamy while still not able to discuss a topic so important like STDs and safe sex in schools.