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Purposely Transmitting AIDS is Criminal
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People who are HIV positive or suffering from AIDS can be charged with a serious crime if they purposefully infect other people with the disease, say Chinese police.

"Those who are fully aware they are infected with the AIDS virus and deliberately infect others should be severely punished according to law," said an official with the public security bureau, who refused to reveal his name even though he was giving a lecture to other police officers on Tuesday.

He called for stronger efforts in monitoring entertainment venues to "crackdown on prostitution, drug trafficking and drug use, which not only safeguards society but would also cut channels of HIV transmission."

He also urged security departments to work with health departments to crack down on illegal blood collecting.

Police should educate HIV carriers who are under arrest for involvement in crimes, work with local health departments to conduct clinical observation and alert local health departments when they are released, he added.

He called on Chinese police who are in frequent contacts with HIV/AIDS risk groups raise their awareness of the disease to better protect themselves.

At Tuesday's lecture, police across the country learned about the AIDS situation in China, national policies relating to AIDS and prevention measures.

China has an estimated 650,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, including 75,000 with full blown AIDS. The Health Ministry reported last week that the number of people officially reported as HIV infected had risen 27.5 percent since the beginning of the year, to more than 180,000.

(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2006)

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