More Than 20% of Beijing University Students Unwilling To Have HIV-Positive Classmates, Survey Finds
More than 20% of university students in Beijing are unwilling to have an HIV-positive classmate, according to a recently released China Youth University for Political Science survey, Xinhuanet reports. Researchers conducted the survey among 1,089 students from 12 universities in Beijing. They found that 32.9% responded positively to having an HIV-positive classmate, while 23% responded that they are unwilling to have an HIV-positive classmate. In addition, 7% of survey respondents said they believe that HIV-positive people should not be admitted to universities, while 31% said they believe HIV-positive people should be admitted only "with certain restrictions."
The survey also found that 4% of respondents said they believe HIV-positive people should not be allowed to find employment and that 43% said they believe HIV-positive people should be allowed to find employment "with certain restrictions." Three-quarters of the respondents said they would participate in HIV/AIDS prevention activities, the survey found. According to the survey, 26% of respondents said HIV/AIDS is an ethical issue. In addition, 50% of respondents said the mode of transmission determines if the virus concerns morality, according to the survey. Many students who participated in the survey lacked knowledge about HIV/AIDS -- about one-third could not distinguish between HIV-positive people and people living with AIDS -- Xinhuanet reports.
Zhou Xiaochun, a member of the research group, said that university students are "generally more tolerant" toward HIV-positive people and have a "better knowledge of ways to contract HIV, but horror and discrimination still manifest themselves in the survey." Zhou added that the discrimination likely exists because many of the respondents associate AIDS with moral corruption. Many Chinese students consider it a "challenge" to shake hands or hug an HIV-positive person and a "breakthrough" if they do so, Zhou said (Xinhuanet, 6/5).