AIDS campaign backfires as patients’ families shunned – Reuters

From Reuters, via the Standard:

Images of China’s top leader shaking hands with two AIDS patients, meant to dispel widespread discrimination, have brought mockery instead for their now-shunned families, a state newspaper said.

President Hu Jintao made an unprecedented visit to AIDS patients in a Beijing hospital in November 2004, urging the nation “to phase out discrimination and estrangement towards them.”

Xiao Wei and Lao Ji (pseudonyms) were among those who met Hu, but state television repeatedly showed footage of the meeting without covering up their faces, China Youth Daily said.

Neighbors in their village in Shanxi province, where they were infected with HIV in the 1990s through blood selling schemes, have made their life miserable ever since, the newspaper said.


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