HIV la­bor stan­dards pro­posed

Abil­ity to work would be de­fined by blood test; draft amend­ment posted for pub­lic com­ment

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - ByWANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong @chi­

Some HIV car­ri­ers could be clas­si­fied as non­la­bor­ers and re­lieved from work, un­der a draft amend­ment to na­tional la­bor stan­dards.

The draft was re­leased on Sun­day by China’s top hu­man re­sources au­thor­ity.

HIV car­ri­ers would be clas­si­fied as hav­ing lost all la­bor ca­pac­ity if their blood CD4 count is 200 or be­low af­ter sys­tem­atic treat­ment. Pa­tients be­tween 200 and 400 would be classed as hav­ing lost par­tial la­bor ca­pac­ity, un­der to the draft, which was posted on the web­site of the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity for pub­lic com­ment un­til Nov 15.

The con­cen­tra­tion of CD4, a type of im­mune cell, is an in­di­ca­tor of HIV in­fec­tion. Nor­mally a CD4 cell count is higher than 500 per cu­bic mil­lime­ter of blood.

The draft also in­cludes amend­ments to stan­dards that as­sess the la­bor ca­pac­ity of peo­ple with some other dis­eases, in­clud­ing cancer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

The cur­rent stan­dard, adopted in 2002, is out­dated in light of China’s so­cial se­cu­rity and health­care im­prove­ments, and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have been call­ing for a re­vi­sion, the min­istry said.

“The re­vised draft bet­ter suits China’s so­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment and its med­i­cal care tech­nolo­gies, and can bet­ter en­sure so­cial se­cu­rity rights for those who have lost the abil­ity to work be­cause of dis­ease,” it said.

The num­ber of peo­ple with HIV in China has ex­ceeded 570,000, a low pro­por­tion of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, but new cases are in­creas­ing rapidly among young peo­ple, in­clud­ing col­lege stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion.

Meng Lin, an HIV car­rier in Beijing and also an open HIV rights ad­vo­cate, said the draft may en­sure so­cial se­cu­rity for some AIDS pa­tients who have lost the abil­ity to work. For ex­am­ple, they can ap­ply for ear­lier re­tire­ment and cer­tain sub­si­dies. But the pro­posed stan­dard­may also block some AIDS pa­tients who want to work, he said.

“I’m not sure it’s right to de­fine AIDS pa­tients with a CD4 count less than 200 as com­pletely un­able to work,” Meng said. “I know a pa­tient, who is a suc­cess­ful en­trepreneur and still work­ing whose CD4 has been less than 100 for more than 10 years.”

“I think the au­thor­i­ties should try more to im­prove the so­cial en­vi­ron­ment to help peo­ple with HIV find em­ploy­ment,” he said.

Wu Hao, an ex­pert in in­fec­tious dis­eases at Beijing Youan Hospi­tal, said most AIDS pa­tients can work nor­mally and have a sim­i­lar life ex­pectancy to oth­ers so long as they take their med­i­ca­tion.

“Af­ter treat­ment, more than 90 per­cent of them can main­tain a CD4 count above 200,” he said. “Even for the few whose CD4 count re­mains be­low 200, they can still work.”

are now liv­ing in China.

A screen cap­ture

of the chil­dren’s ver­sion of Lady White Snake from the Sina Weibo ac­count of fe­male lead Tao Yixi.

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