HIV carriers and people with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) will be able to take up teaching posts in Guangdong Province from September 1, according to a recently revised regulation from the provincial education authority.
The Department of Education of Guangdong Province published the regulation on the physical conditions of applicants for teaching posts on April 16. It no longer stipulated that those with HIV or STDs are prohibited from the teaching profession, despite an earlier draft regulation published at the beginning of the year in which the ban was still listed.
In 2007, Guangdong began implementing a trial regulation on the physical conditions of applications for teachers, in which HIV carriers and people with STDs were automatically disqualified from teaching positions.
When the draft regulation was initially published to get public feedback, anti-discrimination NGOs protested that the ban on HIV carriers was still included.
NGOs stressed the draft regulation violated the State Council's regulation on guaranteeing equal employment rights to HIV carriers, and said the disease cannot be transmitted to students in daily school life.
A teacher from Sun Yat-sen Memorial Middle School in Zhongshan, Liu Jiajie said that the new regulation fulfilled the protection of equal rights for people with HIV or STDs, the Zhongshan Economic Daily reported recently.
The report also quoted a local primary school teacher, Qiu Yunlai, as saying that students could not be infected with STDs during teaching activities.
However, parents of local students do not seem to be as well informed of the actual risks involved as teachers are.
"Imagine if your kid's teacher is an HIV carrier or has an STD, wouldn't you worry?" said a father surnamed Huang.
"I've seen reports saying that there have been sexual assaults of kids and cases of child abuse in schools," Huang said.
Huang added that he did not have a negative attitude toward teachers, but the current situation makes parents nervous.