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Spotlight Series: HIV Stigma and Discrimination
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International News

Discrimination Against People With HIV Persists in China

January 31, 2011

HIV/AIDS-related employment discrimination is enshrined in China's civil service recruitment guidelines, according to a joint report issued recently by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC). "Those who suffer gonorrhea, syphilis, chancroid, venereal lymphogranuloma, HPV, genital herpes or HIV will be disqualified," the regulations state.

A similar rule covers the police service, and teacher recruitment policies also are usually based on those governing the civil service. Sanitation codes bar people with HIV/AIDS, among other STDs, from employment in bars, hotels, restaurants, and beauty salons, the report found.


The report documented mandatory HIV testing of workers and denial of employment, forced resignations, and demotions of HIV-positive workers. An "old school" mentality in which hospitals and university testing centers disclose workers' HIV status to their employers has "more to do with a provincial and local level disjoint; it's not supported on a national level," said Richard Howard of ILO.

Nonetheless, "People with hepatitis B and HIV are routinely denied good jobs and access to education in China, with universities and employers demanding health certificates," said Phelim Kine from New York-based Human Rights Watch. "It's been going on for years."

A 2009 UNAIDS study found that 15 percent of those surveyed reported health care professionals disclosed their HIV test results without their consent. Confidentiality concerns form one of the "barriers to accessing health insurance schemes for HIV treatment," found the ILO/China CDC report.

Howard highlighted the significance of China CDC's involvement. "It shows a willingness to acknowledge, at least on the health sector side, that there are some serious problems related to stigma" in the nation, he said.

Back to other news for January 2011

Adapted from:
The Lancet
01.22.2011; Vol. 377; P. 286-287; Talha Khan Burki

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Chinese HIV/AIDS Organizations
More News on HIV/AIDS in China


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