Cultural factors spanning 5,000 years force homosexual men in China to endure huge psychological and social pressures (H. Shang et al. Nature 485, 576–577; 2012). Government authorities need to face up to reality and promote HIV research and public education about transmission of the virus to curb its spread.
Alongside the promotion campaigns of World AIDS Day, China should provide more ways to access up-to-date information on prevention and treatment of HIV infection. Infected people also need proper medical assistance, legal safeguards and humane care.