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Ostracising of HIV infected boy amounts to discrimination: UN

The UN on Friday said the ostracising of an eight-year-old HIV-infected Chinese boy from his village amounted to discrimination and stigmatisation by villagers and health workers.

Beijing: The UN on Friday said the ostracising of an eight-year-old HIV-infected Chinese boy from his village amounted to discrimination and stigmatisation by villagers and health workers.

All people living with and affected by HIV including children are entitled to the same rights as others, the UN office in China said in a statement.

The United Nations is deeply concerned by reports of the boy being discriminated against and stigmatised by health care providers and many others in his community, it said.

The boy, given a pseudonym Kunkun, from Southwest China's Sichuan Province was found to be HIV-positive in 2011 when he received treatment for minor injuries, according to his grandfather Luo.

Luo, 69, said that the HIV virus was transmitted to the boy from his mother who left the family in October 2006.

His father, who worked in Guangzhou, lost contact with the family after Kunkun was found HIV-positive.

Kunkun receives USD 97 from the local government every month as a subsidy and currently lives with his grandparents.

Due to villagers' fear for the spread the deadly disease, Kunkun has been rejected by local schools and villagers avoid physical contact with him. ?

"Stigma and discrimination are our biggest enemies in the fight to end HIV. Stigma and discrimination ? in all forms and in any circumstances ? are unacceptable, and they must stop. There is no reason to exclude someone with HIV ? adult or child ? from normal life," The UN statement said.

"But sadly, this week's reports demonstrate that breaching confidentiality, ignorance and fear continue to have devastating consequences for those living with HIV," it said.

"Today we have the tools to stop the epidemic. New HIV infections are declining globally. Better and simpler treatment, using one-pill once-a-day fixed-dose combinations are available ? so that people with HIV can live long and normal lives," it said.

The Children living with HIV, with access to lifelong antiretroviral treatment, support and care can live normal lives, it said.

An eight-year-old Chinese boy infected with the HIV virus was forced to leave his home after 200 people including his grandfather signed a petition to expel him from the village.  

From Zee News

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