A draft amendment to China's 15-year-old law on contagious disease prevention has canceled the enforced isolation of HIV/AIDS patients, an important legal step to eliminate bias against HIV/AIDS patients.
The draft amendment, which was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for deliberation, dropped the AIDS prevention and control management standard from the highest level to medium level, which does not require the enforced isolation of HIV/AIDS patients.
The amendment would represent "an institutional start to eliminate the stigma and discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients," said a member of the NPC's Standing Committee, who declined to be named.
"In the past, every HIV/AIDS patient had to be isolated. Police had the power to force them into isolation wards." He said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 6, 2004)