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Legislation In Chinese Autonomous Region Would Eliminate Anonymous HIV Testing, Require Names

“Health officials in southern China are proposing new legislation to require real-name registration for HIV testing, a move aimed at lowering infection rates that has sparked controversy over personal privacy,” the Wall Street Journal’s “China Real Time Report” blog reports. It notes that China’s Xinhua News Agency recently reported that the legislation, proposed in China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, also would mandate people testing positive for HIV must inform their spouses and partners.

However, “[p]rivacy advocates argue that draft legislation would likely drive away a high-risk population who would otherwise test if their privacy were protected,” the blog writes, noting, “Discrimination against China’s estimated 740,000 HIV-positive is highly prevalent in the country.” The blog adds, “Senior health officials in Beijing are backing the legislation, saying that identity disclosure will boost the speed of test results and early treatment, Xinhua said, citing Wang Yu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention” (Burkitt, 2/14).

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