China’s Health Ministry Orders Hospitals To Treat HIV Patients

“China’s Health Ministry has banned hospitals from turning away patients infected with HIV/AIDS,” the Associated Press/Fox News reports. “A circular issued by the ministry on Friday ordered health authorities at all level of government to guarantee treatment for HIV/AIDS sufferers,” the news service writes (11/23). According to Xinhua, the memo “said hospitals should offer appropriate medical care to an HIV/AIDS patient whose condition is discovered during the course of outpatient, inpatient, and emergency treatments, as well as voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing,” and “[h]ospitals should not send them to another hospital or refuse to treat them” (11/23). “The move comes after a 25-year-old lung cancer patient in Tianjin, a major port city south east of Beijing, was recently denied care after his status as an HIV/AIDS patient was detected, Xinhua said,” Agence France-Presse notes, adding, “Chinese authorities have been credited with increasing access to HIV/AIDS drugs for patients, though widespread discrimination is still a problem” (11/24).