Law protects HIV carriers
HIV carriers in China may have a chance to become civil servants under a new health standard for recruitment.
The Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Health are now seeking public opinion on the second draft of the health standard which would allow HIV carriers -- although not AIDS patients -- to be appointed to civil service positions.
HIV carriers are people infected with the deadly virus who have not developed full-blown AIDS.
The draft is available on both ministries' websites. Opinions will be collected between November 15 and 25.
This is the second time that public opinion on the health standard has been sought.
In early August, the two ministries released the first draft and in September, expert commentary was sought on the public opinions collected.
One of the noticeable changes between the first and second drafts is the removal of HIV carriers from the list of people unqualified for public service.
Xu Keyi, an HIV/AIDS expert with the Ditan Hospital in Beijing, said allowing HIV carriers in the civil service is great progress, the Beijing Morning Post reported.
As Hepatitis B carriers are already considered qualified, it is reasonable for HIV carriers to be given the chance too, Xu said. Both viruses are transmitted through blood and sexual contact.
Hepatitis B carriers were qualified in the first draft. Many carriers, however, experienced long period of discrimination. Out of disappointment and anger, some resorted to violent acts.
One of these cases was Zhou Yichao, a college graduate and hepatitis B virus carrier who killed one official and wounded another in April of 2003 in East China's Zhejiang Province after they rejected his job application for health reasons.
The number of people seeking public service jobs has been growing in China.
Some 540,000 people registered for the examination for posts at national government bodies this year and more than 310,000 qualified for the exam.
Both were record numbers.
The number of qualified applicants is 37 times that of the number of posts available.