China: Child With HIV Won't Be Abandoned
'Kun Kun' will get education, medical care
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2014 5:31 AM CST
A Chinese man waits near an AIDS awareness poster at a Beijing hospital.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

(Newser) – A village's petition to banish an 8-year-old boy with HIV has made waves around the world, and China has now promised the boy will get an education, medical care, and a living allowance. The petition to ban "Kun Kun" from the village in Sichuan province was widely condemned within China and came to the attention of the United Nations, AFP reports. According to state media, China's health ministry has now promised to conduct spot checks in other villages to ensure that anti-discrimination policies are being followed. More than 200 people—including the boy's grandfather—signed the petition, and local authorities have now sent a team to the village to educate them about HIV and ensure the boy is treated fairly, reports the China Daily.

The boy's parents, both HIV carriers, work in another province and haven't seen the boy in years. His grandfather now says he signed the petition to ensure the boy received care. "I don't want to abandon my grandson, but I hope capable social organizations can take [him in] because my wife and I are both in bad health and unable to raise him," he tells the Beijing News. In a press release, the United Nations warns that "stigma and discrimination are our biggest enemies in the fight to end HIV" and that discriminating against somebody with HIV is a breach of basic rights—and Chinese law. "Children living with HIV, with access to lifelong antiretroviral treatment, support, and care, can live normal lives and grow up to become happy, healthy, and productive citizens," the statement says.