Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang called on hospitals to guarantee the right of those living with HIV to care after he read reports about an individual who was denied treatment, the Ministry of Health said.
The patient, who suffered from lung cancer and had been denied treatment because of HIV, falsified medical records to hide the infection in order to get surgery, the ministry said in a statement posted to its website today. A report about the patient in unidentified media attracted widespread attention and was read by Li, the statement said.
Li instructed the ministry by telephone that people with HIV should not be discriminated against, according to the statement. He also added that the safety of doctors and nurses treating HIV-positive patients was equally important, it said.
China was estimated to have 780,000 HIV carriers and AIDS patients at the end of 2011, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a Ministry of Health Statement.
Li, a member of the nation’s Politburo Standing Committee, was previously governor of the Chinese province of Henan, where a blood collection program infected hundreds of thousands with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, New York-based Human Rights Watch wrote in a March 2006 report.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Alfred Cang in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Liu at email@example.com