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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CHINA: Striking a Balance Helping Kids with HIV/AIDS
By Feng Yu
June 10, 2013
Global Times (China) (06.06.2013)

On June 3, the Shanghai government announced on the Chinese social networking site Sina Weibo that HIV-infected children with a permanent Shanghai residence permit (hukou) will be eligible for a $228.29 monthly subsidy in addition to back payments since January 2012. According to an editorial by Feng Yu, managing editor of Global Times Metro Shanghai, the amount was large enough to guarantee the “basic necessities” for HIV-infected children. However, some Shanghai residents opposed the ruling because the identity of HIV-infected children remained confidential. Yu explained that confidentiality meant discussions between healthcare providers and clients and test results were not disclosed to anyone else without permission from the client. Although confidentiality protected the children from discrimination, opponents feared the possibility of HIV/AIDS transmission and were concerned that funds might never reach the children if the government did not maintain transparency. Some residents also resisted confidentiality for HIV-infected adults because they could have intercourse without protection or disclosing HIV status to partners. Yu reviewed World Health Organization (WHO) information regarding HIV transmission via body fluids, including blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal fluids, and emphasized that HIV could not be transmitted through ordinary contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands or sharing food and drink. Yu urged medical personnel and HIV/AIDS volunteers to provide HIV education for young children and for HIV-infected people to minimize the risk of HIV transmission and to maintain “social stability.” The five key components of WHO HIV Testing and Counseling Services included “consent, confidentiality, counseling, correct test results, and connection/linkage to services.” Dignitaries and celebrities, including Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for TB and HIV/AIDS Xi Jinping, support China’s recent HIV education efforts.