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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK
China acts to tackle Aids spread
Children in Shuang Miao
China's Aids epidemic has already created many orphans
China has for the first time introduced laws specifically targeting the spread of Aids and outlawing discrimination against victims of infectious diseases.

The laws passed by parliament guarantee funding from central government to local authorities to tackle the fast-spreading disease, state media said.

China's regions must also strengthen Aids prevention programmes, including tightening up blood donation measures.

Some 840,000 people in China have HIV, which causes Aids, officials say.

Unofficial estimates are much higher, experts say.

Blood ban trade

The laws were passed at a session of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, after President Hu Jintao made some revisions.

Yu Daguan, an Aids sufferer in Dongguan village, in China's central Henan province
China hid a blood scandal in the 90s which infected entire villages

"The law stipulates that governments of various levels should strengthen prevention and control of Aids and take measures to prevent the spread of the disease," the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"This is the first time that Aids [has been] specifically targeted in the law," it said.

State television said the laws banned buying and selling of blood and prohibited discrimination against people infected with, or suspected of having contagious diseases.

The laws also tighten control and monitoring of other infectious diseases, including Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and bird flu.


SEE ALSO:
China's forgotten Aids victims
13 Nov 03  |  Asia-Pacific


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