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Experts Give Legal Suggestions on China's Aids Problem

Legal experts agreed Monday that Chinese law needed much improvements to help prevent and control the spread of AIDS and SARS and to stop discrimination against sufferers of HIV/AIDS.


The experts at Qinghua (Tsinghua) University AIDS and SARS Summit agreed that laws should help create a good social environment for Aids sufferers rather than restrict their activities forcefully.


Prof. Li Dun, executive director of the Qinghua Social Policy Research Institute, said the existing laws gave priority to the detection and control of HIV carriers, but "it was just the opposite to what one wished."


Prof. Li said that laws should focus on issues such as discrimination against AIDS sufferers in health, education and employment, the examination of blood before transfusions, and the confidentiality of AIDS sufferers' identities.


Prof. Xia Guomei, a noted AIDS expert from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, urged lawmakers to make every effort to "seek the applicable and symbolic legal force for the effectively control of the dissemination of Aids while not contradicting other policies".


Meanwhile, Prof. Qiu Renzong, a leading Aids expert, complained too few laws could actually stop or remedy discrimination against AIDS sufferers and that conflicts existed between law enforcement and AIDS prevention and care activities.


China's AIDS prevention and control laws should be enacted in compliance with international human rights norms and the interests of China's sustainable development, said Prof. Qiu.


The summit was cosponsored by Qinghua University, the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College. Aids experts from both home and overseas attended and gave presentations, with the hope that Chinese laws on AIDS prevention and control would be further improved.


(China Daily November 11, 2003)

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