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Senior Official Urges to End Illegal Blood Buying

A senior Chinese legislator urged the government to severely punish illegal blood-buying companies, responsible for many HIV infections.

"Owners of such companies must be brought to court and punished severely," said Jiang Chunyun, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress.

Illegal blood buying in China involves unclean techniques, exposing blood donors to possible infections, in particular the HIV virus .

Many poverty-stricken farmers in China sell their blood to such companies for money but at the same time contract the deadly disease.

"They (blood-buying companies) took my blood and put it into a small plastic bag with my name on it," said a farmer from Central China's Henan Province, who wished to remain anonymous.

He is an HIV victim of the underground blood selling.

Jiang, at a family planning meeting last week, said local governments nationwide should play a crucial role in the fight against HIV/AIDS - a virus which Jiang stated "can affect the future of a nation."

(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2001)

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