A lack of sex education and high rates of drug use mean male prostitutes in China have become the newest high-risk HIV/Aids transmission group, a health chief has warned. Wang Longde , deputy Minister of Health and head of the State Council's Aids working committee, said: 'There is a new high-risk group in China - male escorts providing sexual services to single women.' Mr Wang told an Aids conference in Beijing this week that according to one survey, male escorts had sex up to 10 times a week on average, knew little about sexual health and had a low rate of condom use. Illicit drug use also was common in this group, he said. Mr Wang said the number of new HIV/Aids infections spread by prostitutes and their clients, as well as drug addicts, was rising rapidly compared with other demographic groups. Prostitution is illegal in China and the government has no estimate for the number of sex workers in the country. But official figures released last month by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Aids Prevention Centre show prostitutes and their clients accounted for about 127,000 HIV/Aids patients. Unsafe sex is the most common cause of the infections. China has more than 650,000 HIV carriers, including 75,000 Aids patients. The number of newly infected people was about 70,000 last year, with 25,000 dying of the disease that year.