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Authorities must balance privacy and public health protection

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-25 08:10

FIFTEEN STUDENTS FROM A CHARITY SCHOOL in Linfen, North China's Shanxi province, will enter college this fall. The students all have HIV but that will not be revealed to the other students at the college. Beijing Youth Daily comments:

Undoubtedly, the students have the same right to receive education as other youths. Not disclosing they have HIV is a reasonable choice to avoid any discrimination against them.

It is also, as the headmaster said, in line with the spirit of the Rules on AIDS Prevention and Control, which stipulates that without the consent of those with HIV/AIDS or their guardian, no one is allowed to disclose any personal information that can be used to reveal their identities.

But the headmaster omits that the rules also stipulate that those infected with the virus should take all possible measures to prevent the virus from affecting others.

In other words, the law protects their privacy, but the protection of other people's health depends on their consideration.

The transmission of HIV has increased dramatically on campuses in China in the past few years, because of sexual transmission, according to the public health authorities.

It is absolutely necessary for the legislators to amend the law making it an obligation for the health departments to ensure people in intimate contact with those infected with HIV are aware of the fact, so as to strike a balance between the privacy of those with the virus and the protection of public health.

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