Chinese medical institutions no longer allowed to reject HIV-positive patients

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According to the “Thirteenth Five-Year Action Plan for Containing and Curing AIDS”, published recently by the General Office of the State Council, medical and sanitary institutes must strengthen their first diagnosis responsibility system by accepting all patients regardless of their AIDS status. In addition, the Action Plan points out hurdles in tackling the spread of AIDS in China, which include identifying AIDS patients, eradicating the use of drugs through injection, decreasing prenatal and blood transfusion infections and confronting social discrimination towards HIV-positive people.

Additionally, the Action Plan points out that there are still many undiscovered HIV-positive people, most likely because of an increase in infections among homosexuals, a surge of infections among young adults and a high prevalence of illegal prostitution and syringe sharing. Furthermore, lack of public attention towards HIV/AIDS and the inability of medical centers to provide treatment has exacerbated the issue. The report also reveals that those infected include the elderly, migrant workers and returned foreign labourers.

Under the plan, HIV-positive people are guaranteed the right to seek treatment for their illness as well as the right to university enrolment despite their HIV status. The National Health and Family Commission recently published a report stating that hospitals lacking proper treatment equipment are required to relocate AIDS patients to other facilities for appropriate treatment. Furthermore, if clinics are unable to shoulder the burden of relocation, they are required to report to the Public Health Administration Department, which will complete the relocation.

The ultimate goals of this five-year action plan are to: raise public awareness of HIV/AIDS to over 85% of the population, lower AIDS infection rates among gay men by 10%, bring spousal infection rates below 10% and prenatal infection rates below 4%, bring the number of patients who receive proper treatment to above 90% and raise the success rate for those who receive treatment to over 90%.