China Court to Hear Nation’s First HIV Discrimination Case

The case of an unidentified prospective schoolteacher who was denied a job in China because he is HIV positive was the first case of HIV discrimination to be accepted in a Chinese court Monday. The suit alleges that Anquing city’s department of education violated a 2006 national regulation in China prohibiting employment discrimination against people who are HIV positive. According to the New York Times, the regulation states, “no institution or individual shall discriminate against people living with HIV, AIDS patients and their relatives.” Anquing is in the eastern province of Anhui.

The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff, had passed both written tests and interviews to be a teacher, but then was denied the job after a medical exam indicated he was HIV positive. According to Agence France Presse, the plaintiff is not asking for monetary compensation, but is instead seeking placement in the job he had been considered for.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Zheng Jineng, told the New York Times that “In the past on sensitive cases like this, the court would be very reluctant to accept the case…But this time they accepted it smoothly and quickly. That means the legal system in China is making progress.”

According to the Associated Press, 2009 government data shows approximately 320,000 Chinese living with HIV/AIDS, though estimates of actual infection are around 740,000.


New York Times 8/31/10; Associated Press 3/31/10; Agence France Presse 8/31/10

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