A Chinese province is likely to abolish mandatory HIV tests for teachers, the first region on the mainland to do so, state media said Tuesday.
HIV carriers are excluded from civil service jobs including teaching and policing in many provinces across China, leading to accusations of discrimination from rights groups.
But the state-run China Daily said that HIV tests had been removed from a draft list of health standards for teaching candidates in Guangdong, in the south of the country.
It quoted a lawyer as saying that people with HIV have filed an increased number of anti-discrimination lawsuits which have raised awareness of the issue, though most have been unsuccessful.
As of the end of 2011 there were an estimated 780,000 people with HIV/AIDS in China, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, out of the country’s total population of about 1.35 billion.
The first 10 months of 2012 saw more than 34,000 new cases of AIDS reported in China, up 12.7 percent over the same period last year, the state-run Global Times reported, citing a health ministry report.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]