China will prosecute people who deliberately infect others with HIV, the
Chinese media said on Wednesday.
"Those who know they are infected with AIDS or are sick with AIDS and
deliberately infect others will be severely punished according to the law," the
Beijing News said, citing an unnamed police officer as telling an AIDS
It provided no details on what kind of sentences would be meted out, nor how
police would prove the virus had knowingly been passed on by someone.
Police would also deal just as severely with criminal suspects who have AIDS
as those who do not, the report said.
"For criminal suspects infected with AIDS, they cannot not be dealt with or
given free rein just because they are infected," it quoted another unnamed
official with the State Council's AIDS prevention office as adding.
China has been grappling with a surge in the number of HIV/AIDS cases, which
the government last month said had risen almost 30 percent so far this year.
An estimated 650,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in China, and health
experts say the disease is moving into the general population.
Drug abuse this year accounted for 37 per cent of the new infections whose
transmission routes had been determined, while unsafe sexual contact had caused
28 per cent, the Health Ministry said in November.
The official Xinhua news agency added in a late-night report seen on
Wednesday that police would crack down on places where AIDS might spread, such
as illegal blood collection centers and places were drug users and sex workers
HIV/AIDS became a major problem in China in the 1990s when hundreds of
thousands of impoverished farmers became infected through botched blood-selling
After initially being slow to acknowledge the threat, China has stepped up
the fight against HIV/AIDS, increasing spending on prevention programs and
implementing anti-discrimination legislation.
But some non-governmental groups have complained of police harassment when
carrying out AIDS prevention work, and the UN's main AIDS body has said the good
intentions of the central government were not always enforced at the local