Chinese University Sells HIV Testing Kits in Vending Machines

A university in Sichuan, China has been selling HIV testing kits through vending machines on campus.

Getting tested for HIV has never been more convenient for students of Southwest Petroleum University until this year, when vending machines on campus started selling test kits right next to instant noodles.

The testing kits, part of a pilot project of the China Association of STD/AIDS Prevention and Control, were first sold through two vending machines on campus back in July. The project aims to control the rising transmissions of HIV and AIDS among 18- to 25-year-olds.

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University information officer Li Yang said the project is currently implemented at 20 universities in 16 provinces, one municipality and two autonomous regions. The testing kit is available in vending machines at Beijing, Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Yunnan universities.

In Sichuan, only Southwest Petroleum University sells the kits.

For 30 yuan ($4.40), each kit contains a plastic cup, where the user urinates, and a plastic tube, where urine is collected. Tubes are marked with serial numbers.

Filled tubes are then returned to designated slots in vending machines, where they are collected by student volunteers from the university’s anti-AIDS office twice a day.

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Samples are sent to the university hospital, which then sends them to the center of disease control and prevention in Chengdu’s Xindu district. Zheng Weirong, chief of the university hospital’s general office, explained (via China Daily):

“The center, which does not know the names of those submitting urine samples, announces which serial numbers are HIV positive or negative. A student can find out whether they are HIV positive or negative by checking the results for their serial number.”

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