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Chinese Legislator Introduces Proposal to Make Intentionally Spreading HIV a Crime

March 14, 2006

Li Yaping, a deputy to China's National People's Congress, has introduced a proposal that would make intentionally spreading HIV a crime punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison or by a maximum of life imprisonment or the death sentence, Xinhua/RedOrbit reports. "The new crime will be applicable to those HIV carriers or AIDS patients who deliberately spread the virus by means of biting, scratching and injecting others or through the channels like sexual intercourse, syringe sharing, blood transfusion and organ transplant," Li said. Li added that there recently has been an increase in the intentional spread of HIV -- usually by criminal suspects in altercations with police officers. "Since the intentional spread of HIV/AIDS could lead to the death of the crime victims, the existing penalties for such offenses are obviously too mild to have a deterring effect," Li said. The only article in Chinese law that currently pertains to such cases is Article 360, which says that "those who have a clear knowledge of their own serious [sexually transmitted infection], such as syphilis and gonorrhea, but still engage themselves in the selling and buying of sex, should be subject to a sentence of less than five years in prison or confinement, and be fined concurrently" (Xinhua/RedOrbit, 3/12).

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