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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June, 2005, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
China tackles Aids discrimination
By Daniel Griffiths
BBC News, Beijing

A migrant worker arrives at a train station on February 2005 in Beijing, China
There are fears about the disease's spread among migrant workers
A senior Chinese official has said discrimination against people with the HIV-Aids virus in China is rife.

His comments come as China announced a draft law, due to come into force by the end of the year, designed to protect those with the virus.

Vice Health Minister Wang Longde said there was a complete lack of knowledge about HIV-Aids in China.

He said this was a major obstacle to preventing the spread of the virus.

Beijing is often criticised for refusing to face up to the realities of HIV-Aids in China, but these remarks are another sign that it is stepping up the public fight against the virus.

Last year, in a highly publicised move, the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, shook hands with HIV-Aids patients at a hospital in Beijing.

Yet the country's official estimate of around 800,000 HIV-Aids cases is considered far too low by many experts and there are fears about a dramatic surge in the virus among the country's transient rural workforce, which numbers more than 100m people.


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