China AIDS Patients Dying Because Of “Tragic Stigma”

From Reuters:

Chinese AIDS victims are dying needlessly because a “tragic stigma” prevents them seeking help in a country where one fifth of people think the disease can be passed on by sharing a toilet, a top activist said on Thursday.

The government has promised to hand out free, Chinese-made drugs to anyone infected with the disease and the country’s leaders have met those living with but there is still widespread ignorance about how it is spread.

Two thirds of the 6,000 people questioned for a recent survey of six cities said they would be unwilling to live with an infected person, and a fifth said they would be unwilling to care even for a relative with the illness.

Nearly 10 percent even thought working in a room with an infected person would be enough to pass on HIV, according to the report commissioned by UNAIDS and partners.

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