China court rules against plaintiff in first HIV employment discrimination suit

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[JURIST] A Chinese court ruled Friday against a man who claimed he was denied a teaching job because he is HIV-positive, in China’s first HIV/AIDs employment discrimination lawsuit. The man, known only by the alias Xiao Wu, said that he passed requisite academic tests and interviews [BBC report] for the job but was denied after his health examination. He brought the suit against the Education Ministry [official website] in Anqing where the court ruled that the city education officials properly assessed [CP report] his unsuitability for the position base on health standards. The man’s lawyer said that he is only seeking the job he deserves, and he is already planning to appeal the ruling. There are about 740,000 Chinese people living with HIV/AIDs, and many face discrimination in education, employment and health care.

In June, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in coordination with the UNAIDS Secretariat [official websites], launched the Global Commission on HIV and the Law [JURIST report] in order to better understand the role played by the law in facilitating universal access to AIDS prevention and treatment. The commission also plans to address some of the most challenging HIV legal issues, including the criminalization of HIV/AIDS transmission and behavioral practices such as drug use and sexual activity. China has struggled to deal with the HIV/AIDs problem. In April, the Chinese government lifted a ban on entry into the country [JURIST report] for individuals with HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases. In 2006, China responded to the growing numbers of those afflicted with the disease and issued it first guidelines [JURIST report] on HIV/AIDS, banning discrimination against those infected by the virus and providing for free treatment.

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