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Guangdong scraps HIV tests for teaching candidates

(Shanghai Daily)

11:06, May 30, 2013

A regulatopm abolishing HIV tests for teaching candidates in south China's Guangdong Province comes into effect on September 1.

The revised health standard for candidates no longer contains clauses banning HIV carriers and AIDS patients from holding teaching positions.

Guangdong is expected to become the first on the Chinese mainland to do away with mandatory HIV and AIDS tests.

The Equity and Justice Initiative, a non-governmental organization based in the southern coastal city of Shenzhen, proposed abolishing the tests for teaching applicants in January. Guo Bin, its director, said yesterday: "They are sending a signal to the public that we need to respect and guarantee the basic rights of social minorities."

Cheng Yuan, director of Nanjing Tianxiagong ("justice for all"), an NGO that has helped HIV carriers file lawsuits regarding employment discrimination, said the regulation was a "landmark breakthrough."

"The education sector is open to HIV carriers, which means the 'sick ice' of discrimination against them is thawing," said Cheng.

The public, however, is divided, with parents increasingly concerned about student safety because of recent sex abuse cases in China.

An online survey by Sina Weibo showed 3,266 in favor of getting rid of the HIV tests, with 2,971 against.

"AIDS can only be transmitted through sex and blood transfusions. I don't think a teacher with HIV is a threat to my son," said Li Yan, a Beijing mother.

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