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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Real-Name risks

By Guo Kai (Global Times)

08:51, February 13, 2012

In a country where AIDS is still related to shame and despair by some, there were those who were inevitably left feeling nervous after a senior health official last Wednesday advocated using patients' real names during HIV/AIDS treatment.

"HIV carriers might spread the virus to others through unprotected sex or in other ways. Under such circumstances, should we protect the privacy of the carriers, or control the epidemic and protect public health?" Wang Yu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a Ministry of Health (MOH) press conference.

The official made his comments as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region recently released a draft regulation asking for the public's opinion on the matter. The draft 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 new policies are meant to prevent the disease from spreading, but for those who have been trying everything to hide their secret pain from the public and even their close friends or family, the new regulation is intimidating.

Some are even worried that the real-name system may result in the quickening, not stalling, of the spread of the disease because potential carriers may refrain from testing.

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