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Legislator Calls for Law on AIDS Control

It is time for China to make law on the control and prevention of AIDS, otherwise the country would lose the best opportunity to bring the deadly disease under control, said NPC deputy Shi Zuolin Wednesday at the current annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC).


The current law, rules and regulations concerning the prevention and control of AIDS enacted by the central and local authorities have fallen short of the requirements of the new situation and some regulations are in fact conflicting with one another, thus making it unfavorable for controlling AIDS, said Shi, who is deputy director of the Fujian Provincial Hospital.


The current intervention in the behavior of high-risk groups is mainly carried out by health workers with the tacit support of the police, lacking the support of law, Shi noted.


According to the latest study jointly conducted by the Ministry of Health and a UN expert team, there are about 840,000 HIV carriers in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China.


It is quite complicated to make such a law, said Zhang Kong, vice president of the China VD and HIV/AIDS Control Association. "We have to find a balance between the protection of right of person and the protection of public health," Zhang noted.


While striking hard at those deliberately spread AIDS, he added, it is necessary to protect the basic human rights of AIDS patients, such as the right to health, medical treatment, residence, employment, education, privacy, marriage and travel.


(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2004)


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