China issues first guidelines on HIV
Updated: 2006-02-13 09:24
China issued its first official regulations on how to prevent and control the
spread of the AIDS virus Sunday, mandating free testing and medication for the
The statute issued by the State Council, China's cabinet, protects HIV
carriers and AIDS patients from discrimination and criminalizes intentionally
spreading the disease, the Xinhua News Agency said.
The law, which takes effect March 1, holds local governments responsible for
providing free medication to impoverished patients. Local governments also must
offer free consultations and treatment to infected pregnant women, Xinhua said.
The Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS, had estimated that up to 10
million people in China could be infected by 2010 without more aggressive
The Chinese government announced last month there were an estimated 650,000
people living with the HIV virus in China, including 75,000 with full-blown
China had estimated two years earlier that it had 840,000 HIV-positive
people, including 84,000 with AIDS.
International health officials attributed the drop to better data collection
The new regulation protects the rights and privacy of AIDS patients and HIV
carriers, as well as their relatives, Xinhua said.
Their rights of marriage, employment, medical care and education are
guaranteed, Xinhua said.
The guidelines also hold people with HIV responsible for telling spouses,
sexual partners and doctors about their infection. Anyone intentionally
infecting others would be punished, Xinhua said.