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CDC answers public concerns over real-name HIV testing

(Xinhua)

16:31, February 14, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Real-name HIV testing will allow health care personnel to maintain contact with HIV carriers and help carriers to prevent their intimate partners from being infected, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) was quoted as saying in the Monday edition of Health News, the Ministry of Health's affiliated newspaper.

Lv Fan, director of the policy studies department of the China CDC's National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, made the remark in an interview with Health News in response to public concerns over real-name HIV testing.

The public's worries were triggered by a controversial piece of legislation that may soon be approved in south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

A draft regulation on HIV/AIDS prevention is expected to be handed over to the standing committee of the region's local people's congress for approval. The regulation states that HIV tests should be carried out on a real-name basis, with those who test positive obliged to inform their spouses or sex partners.

The concerns were further stoked by remarks delivered by the head of China CDC during a Ministry of Health press conference last Wednesday. Wang Yu, director of China CDC, advocated the use of real-name HIV testing at the press conference.

Many people, particularly those from the HIV-positive community, fear that a real-name registry might create privacy issues and discourage people from going in to be tested.

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