China / Society

Teen with HIV gets OK to go to school

By ZHANG YU/WANG WEI (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-03 07:13

An 18-year-old female student who is HIV-positive will be allowed into a high school with reduced tuition fees after she was refused by another school that she applied to in Wu'an, Hebei province, last month, according to an official government micro blog on Tuesday.

"The girl, nicknamed Ting Ting, had been directed to an appropriate school where she could receive education, and her tuition and living expenses would be reduced," the official micro blog of Wu'an posted.

The post also said the high school that declined her had been criticized for not treating AIDS/HIV students the same as others.

The No 10 High School in Wu'an, didn't accept her because it was worried parents of other students couldn't accept their children studying with a student who is HIV-positive, China Youth Daily reported on Tuesday.

"We had sympathy for her, but we still couldn't take her," an official from the school was quoted as saying.

The student had been ostracized from schools and society since she was diagnosed with HIV at age 2 after her mother died from AIDS, her father, Wang Weijun, said.

Her mother got the virus from a blood transfusion conducted by a hospital that used forbidden self-collected blood.

The disease alienated most of her classmates when she was in primary and middle school.

"I have had no desk mates since the third grade," she said, adding that she seldom left her home and spoke little to others.

Even so, Ting Ting hadn't been rejected by a school before this.

"I tried to send her to an out-of-town school where no one would know she was a student with HIV," said her father.

Wang also tried to find a high school established especially for people with HIV/AIDS, but he found none.

Under a regulation on HIV/AIDS that took effect in 2006, no HIV/AIDS-related discrimination is allowed and those who are infected can enjoy the same marriage, work, medical care and education as others.

"The school's behavior was understandable. Although people would not catch HIV through normal behavior in everyday life, the disease is horrible after all," a netizen nicknamed Hyunbaisetaidi said, adding that most people don't know much about HIV/AIDS.

Liang Liang, an HIV/AIDS health worker in Hebei, said that schools should promote reasonable HIV/AIDS awareness and methods of preventing the spread of the virus so that discrimination could be gradually mitigated.

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