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Pilot grounded after his HIV status is revealed

By Leeann Li (Shanghai Daily)

08:39, September 29, 2012

A PILOT with a Chinese airline has been suspended after his company was told he was an HIV carrier.

Shenzhen student identified as Xiao Xiong, 19, wrote online that he had met and slept with airline captain Zhao Liang in May and they had a month-long relationship.

The student said Zhao neither took any safety measures nor told him about his HIV status though Zhao had been diagnosed in 2009.

In his post, the student accused the captain of "maliciously spreading the virus."

Though tests revealed he was HIV-negative, the high school student said he was afraid Zhao would harm other people and reported the matter to Zhao's company, which has not been named.

An manager of Zhao's airline said Zhao had been banned from flying and was undergoing hospital treatment, The Beijing News reported yesterday.

"He is in stable condition and we are offering him subsidies," the manager added.

Another pilot told the paper that all pilots had to pass strict physical examinations to exclude the possibility of heart attacks, mental diseases or sex-related illnesses in order to obtain a flight license.

Sex-related diseases such as AIDS and syphilis have been added to the medical check list this year.

A total of 28,000 people died of diseases related to AIDS in China last year, according to a report by the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention.

China has 780,000 HIV carriers, 71.4 percent of them men.
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