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Forced HIV tests on way out (3)

By Huang Jingjing (Global Times)

20:09, November 24, 2011

"Now, in order to avoid trouble, I either use other peoples' identity cards to check in or call local police to do the test in advance," said Wang, who ended his drug addiction in 2000.

"I hope society treats us a bit more fairly as we have already suffered from discrimination in employment and medical treatment," Wang said.

Both Gao and Wang's claims could not be immediately verified.

The HIV infection rate through drug taking has dropped of late. In 2000, it accounted for 72.1 percent of all affected cases. This had dwindled to 38.5 percent by 2008.

Li Dan said the compulsory test would not help contain the spreading of the disease, and would only push infected people to the fringes of society for fear of discrimination.

"We hope other provinces and municipalities could follow suit. Zhejiang's move may help break public stereotypes of drug addicts," said Li Dan.

Li Dun rejected worries that the repealing of the compulsory test would weaken government efforts toward HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

"Even if the HIV virus were detected, the authorities would have no right to deprive or limit the freedom of sufferers. The law protects their privacy, so we should take other methods to contain the spreading of the disease," Li Dun said.

In April of 2010, days before the opening of the Shanghai Expo, China lifted a two-decade-old travel ban on foreigners with HIV/AIDS.

Vice Premier Li Keqiang vowed at a meeting last week to expand the coverage of effective HIV/AIDS prevention among the nation's high-risk groups to 90 percent within five years.

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Canada at 2011-11-2470.36.49.*
HIV is a terrible disease. I don"t know whether HIV testing is compulsory here for drug addicts, but it would seem advisable for both the drug addicts own personal health, & the health & life of his/her sexual partners...and their sexual partners....and their sexual partners, & a pregnant woman"s child. It can spread quickly. Treatment is extremely expensive. HIV can be spread by drug addicts sharing needles. Vancouver has led the way in Canada providing a "harm reduction" medical facility with clean needles where addicts can shoot up, methadone, etc., counselling to help addicts get off drugs, find housing & welfare or employment. It also reduces crime & health care costs. Harper"s Conservatives went to the Supreme Court of Canada, but failed in their attempt to shut it down. China also should take steps to ensure its blood donor supply is not infected. China had representatives in Vancouver visiting St. Paul"s Hospital that has considerable experience in treating HIV. Perhaps what needs to be done is to ensure the privacy of the individual getting tested. There have been cases where HIV people have had sex with partners without telling the partner they had HIV, & they"ve been charged with a criminal offense.

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