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HIV/AIDS victims still battling bias

[ 2009-07-08 13:39]     字号 [] [] []  
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Despite constant efforts by the government to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, discrimination against the disease is still rife among Chinese people, including health professionals.

A recent survey by the Chinese Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 46 percent of the 9,000 people polled who do not work in the medical field discriminated against HIV/AIDS sufferers. Among the 7,700 health workers surveyed, 25 percent discriminated against people living with HIV/AIDS.

The discrimination tends to take the form of avoiding the sufferers, or to be unwilling to shake hands, talk or dine with them. The survey was conducted in 18 cities of seven provinces.

Bai Laoshi with the Beijing-based Ark of Love, a support society for people living with HIV/AIDS, said they receive piles of complaints every year from sufferers related to discrimination.

"The most unforgivable and frustrating is from health workers," he said. Even in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, some HIV positive patients have reportedly been expelled from the surgical room.

To help eliminate the discrimination, in recent years State leaders have visited and shaken hands with AIDS patients every Dec 1, World AIDS Day. The government has launched a great number of awareness raising projects across the nation.

"The efforts pay off," said the CDC's Xiao Yan, who is responsible for conducting the survey about HIV/AIDS discrimination. The survey has been conducted yearly since 2006.

"The findings of the latest survey are still not satisfactory, but we see improvement compared with last year," she said, adding the figures among the laymen and health workers polled last year were 59 percent and 34 percent respectively.

China now has 700,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, according to estimates from the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS.


1. How many percent out of the 9,000 people polled, who do not work in the medical field, discriminated against HIV/AIDS sufferers?

2. In how many cities the survey was conducted?

3. On what date, in recent years, State leaders have visited and shaken hands with AIDS patients to help eliminate the discrimination?


1. 46 percent.

2. 18 cities of seven provinces.

3. Every Dec 1, World AIDS Day.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

HIV/AIDS victims still battling bias

About the broadcaster:

HIV/AIDS victims still battling bias

Siberian-born Kristina Koveshnikova is a freelance journalist from New Zealand who has worked in print, television and film. After completing a BCS degree majoring in journalism, she won an Asia NZ Foundation/Pacific Media Centre award to work for China Daily website. Kristina previously did internships at ABC 7 News in Washington DC and TVNZ in New Zealand and has written for a number of publications, including The New Zealand Herald and East & Bays Courier.