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Rights of HIV/AIDS Patients Spelt Out
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The rights and obligations of HIV/AIDS sufferers and efforts required at various levels to fight the disease were made pubic in a regulation released yesterday.


The Regulation on AIDS Prevention and Control, issued by the State Council on January 18, is due to take effect from March 1.


According to the regulation:


No employer or individual can discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS or their relatives. Their right to marriage, employment, medical care and education are protected by law.


For instance, no organization or individual can disclose the names, addresses work places of people with HIV/AIDS, or their relatives, without permission.


At the same time, victims should fulfill a few obligations, including informing their sexual partners and doctors and taking necessary measures to prevent from infecting others. They face civil or criminal charges if they fail to do so.


Governments above the county-level must lead the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.


Governments above the county-level must provide free anti-HIV/AIDS drugs for rural AIDS patients and underprivileged urban patients, and offer free treatment and consultation on prevention of the mother-to-baby infection for pregnant women.


"I am pleased to see the final report, which constitutes a crucial part of the country's overall anti-AIDS strategy," Joel Rehnstrom, country coordinator of UNAIDS China office, told Xinhua News Agency.


According to latest estimates, China has 650,000 HIV/AIDS sufferers including 75,000 AIDS patients.


(China Daily February 13, 2006)


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