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About Luxi City and Santaishan Township

Luxi City

Basic information

Luxi City is located in the west part of Yunnan Province between 98°01′ and 98°44′ east longitude and between 24°05′ and 24°39′ north latitude. It is 71 km long (west to east) and 62 km wide (north to south) and has a total area of 2987 square km, of which 26% is valley area and 76% is mountain area. The county borders with Burma on a bordering line as long as 68.23 km.

The total population of the city is 370669, of which 75396 is women and 28756 is children under 7 years old. Ethnically Han people take up 50.65%, Dai people 35.28%, Jingpo 7.86%, Lisu 1.08%, De’ang 2.6%, and others 2.53%. De’ang is among the smallest ethnic groups in China and is mainly inhabited in villages in Santanshan Township.

Santaishan Township is the only one De’ang autonomous township. It is situated in the mountain area with poor natural conditions, thus people are lagging far behind economically and culturally, and is one of the poverty-stricken townships at State’s level. The population of the township is 6489, of which 2769 are women (Women of child-bearing age are numbered 1473 and the rest are numbered 1296.) and 567 are children under 7 years old. The average annual income is only 1457.25 yuan.

Mengdan Village Committee enjoys population of 2333, of which 77.9% is De’ang, with women being numbered 1012 (546 women of child-bearing age) and children under 7 years old being numbered 207. The average annual income is 1474 yuan ($265 Canadian).

Chudonggua Village Committee has a total population of 1765, of which 54.9% is De’ang, with 722 women (369 women of child-bearing age) under 149 children under 7 years old. The average annual income is 1758 yuan ($315 Canadian).

HIV situation

De'Ang Village

Luxi City is among the areas seriously attacked by HIV, and the HIV carriers are increasing quickly. They used to be found primarily among drug takers but now has moved into the mainstream population, through three ways including sharing needles, through sex and through mother to baby.

HIV/AIDS is seriously striking ethnic minority-inhabited areas, especially in De’ang areas. Because De’ang people live in remote and mountainous areas, their production level is low, they are educated less, come from a small and different cultural background, they remain somewhat disenfranchised from mainstream life in this region.

Young people tend to go to work in towns and cities, but because they are educated much less, the jobs they take are mainly very simple and manual ones. Girls and women in many cases work as prostitutes. The statistics show a fast increase among the De’ang girls and women involved in sex work. In the year 2004 there was no HIV carrier among prostitutes, but in 2007 the rate increased to 20%, and most of them were De’ang girls and women working as sex workers. The situation is really very severe. Therefore, it is very important to do education work among the De’ang people.

Although the government has sent out some officials to do propaganda work regarding HIV in the past two years the task is daunting as the need is great, and the approach was considered too clinical and not of interest to the target population. There must be more training and education work done among De’ang people and other ethnic minorities in the region so that they can improve their knowledge and enhance their awareness of HIV prevention.

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