Village Petition to Banish HIV-positive Boy becomes Controversial

Village Petition to Banish HIV-positive Boy becomes Controversial

Villagers in China's Sichuan province have asked authorities concerned to keep an HIV positive boy, 8, in isolation. The petition by villagers has become a controversial matter in China.

Kunkun lives in the southwestern province of Sichuan and contracted the virus from his mother. In 2011, he was diagnosed with the disease. As soon as the news was publicized, KunKun was sacked out from the school and was ostracized by villagers.

In early December, over 200 villagers signed a petition that Kunkun should be taken out from the village. Kunkun should be sent as soon as possible and quarantined for treatment, demanded the villagers.

More than 200 villagers signed the petition and among them were Kunkun's guardian and grandfather as well. They all have put their names and fingerprints on the petition. Wang Yishu, the village secretary, affirmed that they feel pity for Kunkun and at the end, he is an innocent boy.

The issue became viral online. In fact, a post even asked people whether they would have signed the petition if they were one of the villagers. The post has received more than 15,000 responses and majority, of them affirmed that the virus would not transmit through day-to-day contact.

In some of the responses, people have accused petitioners of being cold-blooded and ignorant, but some found petitioners' action understandable.

The township authorities think that Kunkun should be able to enjoy equal rights. In fact, the authorities have sent a team to the village to raise awareness among people with regard to HIV. The team will also try and understand local villagers to not have discriminatory attitude towards the boy. The number of HIV/AIDS patients in China has increased to 810,000 by the end of 2013.

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