HIV-Infected Child to Be Banished from Chinese Village

By Peter R - 19 Dec '14 15:19PM

An eight-year old in China's Sichuan province is facing expulsion from his village as he is HIV infected.

According to Business Insider, the boy being referred to only as Kunkun, contracted the infection from his mother. The child's father deserted the family after his condition was diagnosed. The Shufangya village where the boy resides has now signed a petition backing the boy's expulsion. Kunkun's plight caused a furore on social media, with people shaming the villagers and urging the government to protect the boy.  

The child's 69-year old grandfather was quoted saying by Wall Street Journal that the village cannot care for the boy. HIV is associated with stigma in China as the disease is feared. Ever since word of Kunkun's diagnosis got out, he is being treated as an outcast. Schools have refused to take him even as other children refuse to bond with him.

CNN reported that the petition drafted by villagers calls on the village to demand Kunkun's quarantine. The villages say they fear the boy will spread the disease by biting other children or by just playing with them.

HIV infected in China face extreme societal stigma due to lack of education and awareness about the disease. A local newspaper which reported the Kunkun's plight pointed out that officials are making efforts to secure the boy a place in an institution. Officials from the province government's office have also decided to take up awareness campaigns to educate villagers about HIV and AIDS.

China has 434,000 people living with AIDS and bans discrimination against HIV infected and their relatives, WSJ reported. 

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