• China lifts travel ban on AIDS patients

    2010-04-28

    In one of the latest signs that the Asian powerhouse is attempting to increase its international profile through positive means, the Chinese government has lifted its 20-year-old travel ban on anyone suffering from HIV or AIDS, claiming that it was based on faulty and outdated information, according to the Times Online.

    The news comes just days before the country hosts the Shanghai World Expo, the largest World's Fair in history, for which the Chinese government hopes to draw more than 70 million visitors from the globe over the show's six month run.

    State council members announced that a greater understanding of the behaviors and functions of the disease coupled with clear evidence that the ban had a very limited effect on preventing the spread of the disease to Chinese borders inspired the lifting of the ban.

    The move has gained the approval of AIDS prevention advocates the world over, with Zhang Beichuan, a medical professor and a rights activist for people suffering from the disease, telling the news provider that "Previously, China viewed HIV/Aids as an imported disease related to a corrupt lifestyle. But now the government handles it with a public health perspective."

    China had previously issued a temporary waiver of the ban for major international events such as the 2008 Summer Olympics and the World Women's Conference in 1995.
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