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English>>China Society

Killed by shame

(Global Times)    09:03, May 05, 2015

Wu Xinyi (Photo/Xinhuanet)

Wu Xinyi, a 19-year-old hepatitis B virus (HBV) carrier, was found lying on her bed with her body cold and purple, while a fire pot of charcoal was burning on the ground.

Wu, a freshman at Tianjin Normal University, committed suicide in her single-room dorm on April 10, The Beijing News reported on Thursday.

She was diagnosed with HBV when the university encouraged blood donations in November. HBV, which can cause liver cancer or failure, can be transmitted through blood, sexual and maternal-neonatal transmission.

Wu felt alienated after she told her roommates about the infection, according to her mother, Chen Xiaoling.

Wu wrote on her suicide note "'There is no hurry to die,' said Shi Tiesheng, [a deceased author who was paralyzed]. Although I deeply understand it, I still feel my life is so long that the ultimate destination is dimly foreseeable."

It was another tragedy caused by public fears of HBV carriers.

Driven to despair

"My roommates dare not touch my hangers. When my mobile phone was put on someone's desk, they immediately cleared their stuff away," Wu was quoted by her mom as saying.

Wu tried to tell her roommates that there was no basis for fearing HBV carriers, but they replied via text message, "We understand, but are still scared of it," Wu's best friend Gao Chao (pseudonym) recalled.

Her classmate Zhang Qing (pseudonym) said that one of Wu's roommates always slept in other dorms last semester and spread the word that Wu was infected.

Before this semester started, Wu underwent a re-examination in early March at the request of school authorities.

The test result showed that her HBV levels dropped to levels that showed she was no longer in danger or at risk of spreading the virus. Wu presented the test results to her mom with excitement.

However, Chen said the school authorities insisted on a medical certificate to prove that "HBV carriers will not influence schooling." Doctors declined to issue the certificate, since requesting it was an act of discrimination banned by China's health authorities.

Ma Qiang, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China committee of the school, suggested Wu take half a year off and repeat her first-year courses in September, Chen said. But Wu refused, saying, "The school is not entitled to suspend schooling."

Chen said the school insisted Wu live in a single dorm if she insisted on going to school. "They also asked me to write a statement, explaining that Wu voluntarily applied for the room."

The statement, dated March 5, read that Chen "would like to take full responsibilities if physical and psychological problems occurred when Wu lives alone."

Ma denied that the school had demanded the medical certificate, adding that the single-room dorm request was "utterly" made by Wu and her mother, news portal cnr.cn reported on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the school via its official Sina Weibo account, teachers reassured Wu's three former roommates by offering them general knowledge about HBV and asking them to care for her.

"Several days later, her roommates told us Wu ignored them and felt stressed out. Her texts sent to them always go like this: 'My blood is dirty and bacteria inhabit my body,'" Ma noted.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Gao Yinan)

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