Guangdong Province: Trade Liberalization and HIV

  • Peng Lin
  • Yan Li
  • Jonas Tillman


The Guangdong experience is interesting as a case study, given its role as an economic hub, having attracted both domestic migrant workers, as well as people from abroad ever since the economic reforms of the late 1970s. The first Special Economic Zones were set up in Guangdong, due to its proximity to Hong Kong, most famously in the city of Shenzhen. The region has a prospering manufacturing industry, where both labor-intensive manufacturing products, as well as high-end technology products, are produced and assembled. Trade liberalization and rapid economic growth have also created a booming commercial sex industry and a situation where many economically-marginalized workers are migrating to the region. Here, we document the development of Guangdong’s HIV epidemic, which has grown dramatically from 1997 to 2017, and we describe epidemic response efforts in Guangdong over the same period.



Authors gratefully acknowledge Jennifer M. McGoogan, who provided input and assisted with editing.


  1. Cai Y, Song Y, Hong F. Joinpoint regression analysis on trends of syphilis/HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men in Shenzhen. Chin J AIDS STD. 2017;23(1):33–5.Google Scholar
  2. Chen Y, Sun X, Chen W, Wan X, Wu L. Analysis of syphilis epidemiology in Guangdong pregnant women. S Chin J DermVenereol. 2006;13(4):263–5.Google Scholar
  3. Chen S, Liang Z, Gong Y, Sui D, Zhu Z. Mobility among floating population of different occupations and their AIDS knowledge and risk behaviors. S Chin J Prev Med. 2011;37(2):1–5.Google Scholar
  4. Deng Z, Liu J. Status of syphilis infection and influence factors among male patients of the STD clinic in Dongguan City from 2010 to 2016. Chin J AIDS STD. 2018;24(4):383–6.Google Scholar
  5. Fang X, Liao H, Lin X. Syphilis and HIV infection status in outpatients with sexually transmitted diseases in Shantou, 2004–2011. Chin J AIDS STD. 2012;18(10):664–6.Google Scholar
  6. Fu X, Lin P, Li Y, Wang T, Zhu J, Liang Z. Investigation on HIV/AIDS risk behaviors and HIV infection status among the floating population in different locations in three cities in Guangdong Province. Chin J Dis Control Prev. 2013;17(3):226–9.Google Scholar
  7. Fu X, Wang B, Li Y, Yang C, Lin G, Peng L. Prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases as well as related associated risk factors among middle/low-level female sex workers in a city in Guangdong province. Chin J Epidemiol. 2014;35(5):510–3.Google Scholar
  8. Gong X, Ye S, Zhang J, Zhang G, Shao C, Liang G, et al. Epidemiological situation of sexually transmitted diseases in China: from 1991 to 2001. Chin J Dermatol. 2002;35(3):178–82.Google Scholar
  9. Lau JT, Thomas J. Risk behaviors of Hong Kong male residents traveling to mainland China: a potential bridge population for HIV infection. AIDS Care. 2001;13(1):71–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Li Y, Li W, Lin P, Mai R, Liu Y, Yang L, et al. A study of population size estimation of female sex workers in a city in Guangdong Province. S Chin J Prev Med. 2006;32(4):18–20.Google Scholar
  11. Li Y, Detels R, Lin P, Fu X, Deng Z, Liu Y, et al. Prevalence of HIV and STIs and associated risk factors among female sex workers in Guangdong Province, China. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010;53(Suppl 1):S48–53. Scholar
  12. Li Y, Detels R, Lin P, Fu X, Deng Z, Liu Y, et al. Difference in risk behaviors and STD prevalence between street-based and establishment-based FSWs in Guangdong Province, China. AIDS Behav. 2012;16(4):943–51. Scholar
  13. Li T, Wen J, Zhu K, Zhou G, Qin S, Zheng R, et al. Investigation on sexual behavior safety and syphilis infection in recreational places in Haizhu District, Guangzhou. J Dermatol Venereol. 2016;23(1):57–9.Google Scholar
  14. Li W, Zhou Y, Huang S, Yao G, Li X, Du M. Analysis of epidemic characteristics of AIDS in Zhuhai City in 2016. Med Inf. 2018;31(3):123–5.Google Scholar
  15. Liang Z. Foreign investment, economic growth, and temporary migration: the case of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, China. Dev Soc. 1999;28(1):115–37.Google Scholar
  16. Lin P, Wang M, Li Y, Zhang Q. Comparison of HIV prevalence and its correlates between the community-based and the detoxification center-based drug users. Mod Prev Med. 2013;40:463–6.Google Scholar
  17. Liu Y, Lin P, Fu X, Long Q, Wang Y, Yang F, et al. Analysis on the HIV/AIDS knowledge, behavior and influence factors of floating population in Guangdong Province. S Chin J Prev Med. 2009;35(6):23–7.Google Scholar
  18. Mi G, Ma B, Kleinman N, Li Z, Fuller S, Bulterys M, et al. Hidden and mobile: a web-based study of migration patterns of men who have sex with men in China. Clin Infect Dis. 2016;62(11):1443–7. Scholar
  19. Ren X, Yang L, Chen Y, Liu F, Hong X, Yang B. Epidemiological trends of the secondary and latent syphilis among women of childbearing age in Guangdong Province of China: from 2005 to 2010. Chin J Infect Control. 2012;11(3):174–7.Google Scholar
  20. Shen H, Zou H, Huang S, Liu F, Zhao P, Chen L, et al. Depression and HIV risk behaviors among female sex workers in Guangdong, China: a multicenter cross-sectional study. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:6986173. Scholar
  21. Song W, Liang G, Xia Q. Epidemiology analysis on venereal disease in China in 1977–1993. Dis Surveil. 1995;10(2):57–61.Google Scholar
  22. Spence JD. The search for modern China. New York: WW Norton & Company; 1990.Google Scholar
  23. Statistics Bureau of Guangdong Province. Guangdong statistical yearbook 2017. Beijing: China Statistics Press; 2017.Google Scholar
  24. Sun Q, Fang F, Zhou Z, Gan L, Zheng L, Tu Y, et al. Factors influencing utilization of HIV voluntary counseling and testing services among migrant population in Baoan district. Chin J AIDS STD. 2017;23(1):44–7.Google Scholar
  25. Tan X, Huang S, Lu H, Zhu Z, Huang L, Xu Y, et al. Survey of HIV infection among STD outpatients from 2003 to 2007 in Jiangmen. J Trop Med. 2008;8(12):1257–8.Google Scholar
  26. Tan Y, Wang T, Li L, Wang M, Li X, He H, et al. Survey on prevalence of HIV and syphilis among migrants in Zhongshan in 2010. Pract Prev Med. 2011;18(5):803–5.Google Scholar
  27. Tang L, Zhao Q, Li B. Analysis the situation of HIV, syphilis, and HBV testing services among pregnant women in Guangdong, 2012–2013. Chin J AIDS STD. 2015;21(9):762–5.Google Scholar
  28. Tucker JD, Cohen MS. China’s syphilis epidemic: epidemiology, proximate determinants of spread, and control responses. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2011;24:50–5.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang C, Yang L, Yang B, Shen S. Prevalence of syphilis and gonorrhea in Guangdong province, 1995 to 2010. Chin J Public Health. 2013;29(3):423–5.Google Scholar
  30. Wu J, Wu H, Li P, Lu C. HIV/STIs risks between migrant MSM and local MSM: a cross-sectional comparison study in China. PeerJ. 2016;4:e2169. Scholar
  31. Zhang H, Huang H. Survey and analysis on STDs of 1286 female sex workers in Jiangmen City of Guangdong Province. S Chin J Derm Venereol. 2012;19(3):178–81.Google Scholar
  32. Zhang S, Peng H, Chen F, Chen F, Huang X. The analysis of STD infection among male STD outpatients in Huizhou from 2008 to 2012. Diagnos Ther J Derm Venereol. 2013;20(3):211–2.Google Scholar
  33. Zhao P, Huang S, Liu F, Ren X, Chen L, Shen H, et al. A special survey of comprehensive syphilis prevention and control in Guangdong province. Chin J AIDS STD. 2016;22(6):451–4.Google Scholar
  34. Zhao P, Shen H, Huang S, Wang C, Deng Z, Li Z, et al. Analysis on the status and related factors of high-risk behaviors of sexually transmitted diseases/HIV among clients of female sex workers in Guangdong Province. Chin J Dis Control. 2018;22(1):100–3.Google Scholar
  35. Zhong F, Tang W, Cheng W, Lin P, Wu Q, Cai Y, et al. Acceptability and feasibility of a social-entrepreneurship model to promote HIV self-testing and linkage to care among men who have sex with men. HIV Med. 2017;18(5):376–82. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Lin
    • 1
  • Yan Li
    • 1
  • Jonas Tillman
    • 2
  1. 1.Guangdong CDCGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.NCAIDSChina CDCBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations