Court in E China hears 1st HIV discrimination case involving jobseeker

10:16, October 14, 2010      

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The Chinese mainland's first court case concerning discrimination against a HIV positive jobseeker began Wednesday in east China's Anhui Province.

The trial involves a college graduate in Anqing City who was denied a teaching job because he is HIV positive.

The hearing in the Yingjiang District Court was closed to the public out of privacy concerns.

The plaintiff, going by the alias Xiao Wu, did not appear in court, while the defendant, Anqing City Education Department, was represented in court by an attorney, according to court sources.

After fierce debate between the attorneys of both sides, the court adjourned before noon. The judge did not say when a verdict will be handed down.

The attorneys' arguments focused on whether the physical examination criteria for teacher recruitment should be the state physical examination standard for civil servants, which do not allow any person suffering from a sexually transmitted disease from working as a civil servant.

The lawyers for the plaintiff argued that since teachers are not civil servants the criteria for teachers should not be the civil servant standards.

The Anqing City Education Department refused Xiao Wu, in his early 20s, a teaching job in August after he tested positive for HIV.

Wu Gonghua, deputy head of the department, told Xinhua prior to the hearing that a HIV test is given to all seeking to work as teachers in the province, adding that every teaching job applicant is informed about related physical examination criteria before the medical test.

If a jobseeker participates in the physical examination, it means he or she has agreed to the relevant conditions, Wu said.

Several parents of students at a primary school opposite the city education department told Xinhua on the condition of anonymity they would not tolerate HIV carriers teaching at their children's school.

Li Fangping, one of the Xiaowu's two attorneys, told Xinhua that according to the Employment Promotion Law adopted in March 2008, employers should not discriminate against HIV carriers. Exceptions can only be made in accordance with the laws, regulations or orders from the Ministry of Health.

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