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Care for AIDS Patients

The country should do more to care for AIDS patients to stop the epidemic from spreading, says an article in the Qilu Evening News. An excerpt follows:

It is reported that by November 11, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province had 273 confirmed HIV carriers and AIDS patients. However, nearly half of them chose to hide after they were diagnosed and only 34 came forward to have medical treatment.

There may be many more who have HIV/AIDS but are not coming forward.

The hiding of a large number of people with HIV/AIDS from the public not only means they don't get treated but also makes it more difficult to medically examine those who have intimate contact with them.

Why did these HIV/AIDS sufferers choose to elude the public? The answer is a lack of tolerance and understanding from society. AIDS is a terrible disease, but we do not have to faint at the mere mention of it.

To HIV/AIDS sufferers we should extend as much care and help as we can.

"They should have the right to enjoy a happy life like other people. And they should have the privilege of creating and pursuing their own happiness," said Wu Yuhua, an official at the Heilongjiang Provincial disease control centre.

To make AIDS patients more willing to receive medical treatment, the government should take some action. It is its duty to improve knowledge of AIDS and give more information to the public about what the disease is and how to prevent it. The government should also take measures to cut off some of the epidemic's transmission channels, such as underground blood collection, drug abuse and prostitution.

At the same time, relevant departments should keep secrets better. For example, they should not make public the names of AIDS patients and HIV carriers and other information about them, to maintain their dignity. This will be extremely helpful in promoting patients' voluntary cooperation with medical circles.

(China Daily November 21, 2005)

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