SW China’s Chongqing steps up efforts to crackdown on intentional spreading of HIV/AIDS
Published: Apr 24, 2024 11:09 PM
People hold a candle and a red ribbon during an event to raise awareness of AIDS at University of South China in Hengyang, central China's Hunan Province, Nov. 29, 2023. The World AIDS Day falls on Dec. 1.(Photo: Xinhua)

People hold a candle and a red ribbon during an event to raise public’s awareness of AIDS at the University of South China in Hengyang, Central China's Hunan Province, on November 29, 2023, two days before the World AIDS Day. Photo: Xinhua

Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality will accelerate the revision of the city’s regulations on the prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS in addressing incidents of intentional spreading of the disease occurring from times in recent years, which has made the situation of the disease prevention and control grim. 

Chongqing Municipal Health Commission recently replied to a proposal put forward by a local people’s congress deputy on the prevention and control of intentional spreading of HIV/AIDS. 

According to the commission, the revised regulations put forward new requirements for HIV/AIDS prevention and control. 

Statistics from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that China has 1.22 million people living with HIV/AIDS as of the end of 2022, reporting 418,000 deaths linked to the disease, with infection and mortality rates both at relatively low levels on the globe. 

In China, AIDS transmission through blood transfusions has been basically blocked, and transmission through intravenous drug use and mother-to-child transmission have been effectively curbed, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).

The NHC has made arrangements for combating transmission through sexual contact, the main mode of transmission currently in China, vowing to step up cracking down on violations and crimes related to HIV/AIDS transmission, among other prevention and treatment measures.

Meanwhile, sporadic cases of intentional spreading of HIV/AIDS have been reported from across the country from time to time in recent years. In 2022, a court in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan Province announced a ruling on a case in which a woman surnamed Yin engaged in prostitution without taking any protective measures for all that she had known herself infected with HIV/AIDS. Her behavior was identified as spreading sexually transmitted diseases, and she was sentenced to one year and four months in prison and was fined 5,000 yuan ($690).

The Chongqing Municipal Government convened in December 2023 a meeting with multiple departments, proposing to expedite the revision of the “Chongqing Municipality Regulations on the Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS.”

The local legislature has listed the revision of the regulation in its health legislation plan during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25). 

The municipal health commission has conducted in-depth analyses of the HIV/AIDS prevention and control in Chongqing through questionnaire surveys and expert discussions. They formulated targeted recommendations from five aspects ranging from legislative framework, government department responsibilities, publicity and education, patient rights and obligations to the prevention and control system, compiling the background materials for the revision of the regulation. 

Besides, the commission studied and drew lessons from the local regulations on HIV/AIDS prevention and control issued by other provinces including Yunnan, Sichuan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. They also combined the exchanges between Sichuan and Chongqing on HIV/AIDS prevention and control work, and reviewed cases of combating intentional transmission of HIV/AIDS by infected individuals in cities such as Chengdu and Guang’an in Sichuan. 

Next step, the municipal health commission will collaborate with relevant departments to conduct research and strengthen the demonstration during the legislation, expecting to enhance the standardization and legal management level of HIV/AIDS prevention and control. 

The commission revealed that since efforts of HIV/AIDS testing for individuals involved in prostitution and drug-related activities vary across districts and counties, they will collaborate with the public security departments, strengthen HIV/AIDS testing for such personnel, and crack down on those suspected of intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS in accordance with the laws. 

A campaign on prevention and control of HIV/AIDS launched in Chongqing between 2023 and 2025 has made it clear that the public security, judicial, and health departments should strengthen cooperation in the HIV/AIDS testing on all the individuals involved in prostitution and drug-related activities captured by the public security department at designated medical institutions. In 2023, a total of 4,341 suspects were tested, an increase of 37.2 percent on that of the 2022. 

Chongqing has strengthened the HIV/AIDS testing at local medical institutions, with 12.75 million people tested in 2023 in accordance with provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling, a year-on-year increase of 93.6 percent from that of 2022. The city’s HIV/AIDS testing coverage rate for the entire local population was 39.7 percent, far exceeding its annual target. 

Taking initiative to provide HIV/AIDS testing services by medical institutions at all levels is the main channel for identifying HIV/AIDS-infected individuals in the city, according to the municipal health commission. 

In Chongqing, patients of or individuals infected with sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS patients or infections who engage in prostitution, solicitation of prostitutes, or drug taking activities, leading to the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases or HIV/AIDS, shall be investigated and dealt with by public security organs in accordance with the law. They will be held accountable for criminal responsibility if their behaviors constitute crimes. 

Global Times