Chinese Province Requires People To Provide Real Names, Contact Information When Taking HIV Tests
China's Yunnan province has begun requiring people to provide their real names and contact information when taking HIV tests, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. According to Lu Lin, director of the Disease Prevention and Control Center of Yunnan, more than 150,000 people volunteered to take HIV tests in the province in 2006, an increase of 30,000 from the previous year. Providing real names and contact information will help medical workers provide follow-up treatment if people test HIV-positive, Lu said, adding that the requirement will enable HIV-positive people to "receive free medical treatment as soon as possible." Lu also pledged to protect the privacy of those who are tested, saying that medical workers will be prosecuted if they reveal HIV-positive people's personal information. Many people who take HIV tests give false personal information because of concerns related to stigma and discrimination, which means they miss the "best time for treatment," Lu said. Yunnan has 210 labs to screen and diagnose HIV/AIDS, and the number of labs might increase in the future, according to Lu (Xinhua/People's Daily, 1/18). According to official statistics, the number of HIV-positive people in Yunnan increased from 14,905 in 2003 to 40,157 by the end of 2005 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/5/06). By the end of September 2006, the number increased to 47,314 (Xinhua/People's Daily, 1/18). The number of HIV cases in the province now accounts for one-quarter of the national HIV caseload. In addition, the Provincial Committee of AIDS Prevention and Control says HIV/AIDS cases have been detected in 128 of the province's 129 counties (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/5/06).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.