China amends disease law, bans blood trade
The National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, has passed a law banning the buying or selling of blood to prevent the spread of AIDS and outlawing discrimination against victims of infectious diseases, Xinhua News Agency reported.
President Hu Jintao signed 12 decrees enacting two revised laws and 10 amendments to laws which were passed at the 11th session of the Standing Committee of the NPC, which ended on Saturday.
Most significant was the revised Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, which requires the government to guarantee funds for infectious disease prevention.
The law stipulates that governments of various levels should strengthen prevention and control of AIDS and take measures to prevent the spread of the disease, Xinhua said. This is the first time that AIDS is specifically targeted in the law.
Statistics show that among the reported AIDS cases in China, 11 percent were infected in the processes of having blood drawn or blood transmissions.
According to estimates of experts, there are 840,000 people infected with AIDS/HIV in China.
The law also rules out discrimination against people infected with contagious diseases, people carrying the pathogen of a contagious disease and people who are suspected of having a contagious disease.
In general, the law underscores prevention and early warning of contagious diseases and isolation of patients of contagious disease. It puts greater responsibility on medical institutions to monitor the spread of contagious diseases and prevent infection inside hospitals.
China has established a four-level disease prevention and control system starting from the county level up to the prefecture, province and state levels, with a staff of 288,000 people.
By 2003, the incidence of contagious diseases in China had fallen to 182 in 100,000 people.