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Jusitce and compensation

(Global Times)

08:36, August 29, 2011


Tian Xi has his freedom back and is renewing his fight against those he holds responsible for infecting him with HIV. He likens his chances of seeing justice done to the likelihood he'll live a long life; about zero.

Emaciated but in good spirit, the 24-year-old AIDS patient, activist and petitioner was released from prison on August 18 after serving a year's sentence for smashing up the hospital he says is responsible for infecting him.

The stubborn young man from Xincai county, Henan Province has been seeking both justice and compensation since he tested positive HIV/AIDS in 2004. He believes he was infected at a local hospital in 1996 when he was just 9 years old.

Throughout his late teens and early 20s he petitioned incessantly, finally becoming indignant with hospital officials who refused to take responsibility or show any sympathy.

Last August, he lost it and smashed some of the hospital's office equipment. He was promptly arrested.

"I won't stop seeking compensation, I have to live," said Tian, who has never been unable to find a job since graduating from college.

Tian's is far from an isolated case. It's estimated there are tens of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS who were infected when they gave blood donation, received transfusions or used contaminated blood products in the 1980s, when the dodgy, private blood trade peaked.

Not only are they living with deteriorating health, psychological pain and societal stigma, they're also ignored, silenced and even punished by local authorities when they try to seek help.

More than 10 years have elapsed since the private blood trade has been cleaned up, but authorities have yet to compensate those infected by what experts and patients believe was medical malpractice.

Once the scale of the tainted blood scandal became apparent earlier last decade, local governments in Hebei, Hunan and Shandong provinces, started testing those who had donated or received blood more than a decade ago. Only then did Tian, who had been having constant fevers and coughs, discover he had AIDS. He also tested positive for hepatitis B and C.
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