HIV/AIDS: Fearing the Unknown in China

Despite the HIV/AIDS prevention programs and introduction of policies to curb discrimination, the Chinese government is not doing enough to educate the general public about HIV and AIDS. With this ignorance, comes a multitude of obstacles for HIV and AIDS patients and advocates to overcome.

By law, medical facilities in China are not allowed to deny a person with HIV or AIDS the right to medical attention. However, strict penalties are not enforced when this happens.

                  

Several HIV/AIDS patients with cancer have recently come forward with stories about being denied surgery. One man’s journey to receive surgery on his liver described how he was rejected from two hospitals before altering his medical documents at a third hospital in order to receive treatment.

This patient’s story recently broke in China, sparking intense debate on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Over 6,100 retweet and 4,800 comments were posted, with many calling the man a murderer, malicious, selfish, and despicable for jeopardizing the health of everyone in the hospital.

             

In response to the story, China’s Ministry of Health issued an emergency announcement banning hospitals from refusing HIV/AIDS patients. Supportive messages were issued by the Chinese government and CCTV, the national television station.

Although public words of support and sympathy were few and far between, some messages understood why he did it and asked people if they would have done the same in his shoes.

It is only with further education and advocacy that issues like these will no longer plague HIV and AIDS patients in China. Join us today to help fight the injustice that continues.


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