Local media in China has reported that three people were refused boarding for a plane on Spring Airlines at Shenyang airport in Liaoning province in North-East China. Two of the men were HIV positive. The men have taken their case to court accusing the airline of discrimination. The country’s first HIV discrimination case was dismissed in 2010 when a teacher claimed his status was the reason he was not given a job.
China is still developing its approach to HIV/ AIDS. Those travelling to the country for over three months are required to prove their HIV status before their visa is issued. Better2Know helps many travellers every year by issuing HIV Certificates to accompany visa applications for China and other countries. Before 2010, anyone who was HIV positive was not allowed to enter China at all.
Although this particular court case is yet to start, the airline is apologising, has stated it does not have a policy to refuse travel to people with HIV, but also says that the men did not help themselves in this situation as they scared other passengers. In a country where there are varying levels of knowledge about HIV, it does beg the question as to whose responsibility this is. Last year a proposal to stop people with HIV using public bathhouses (a Chinese tradition) was met with disparagement. To be clear: you cannot catch HIV from sharing a plane or toilet seat with someone who is HIV positive. The passengers are requesting compensation of £4,771 and took a train to their destination.
If you are travelling to China, Better2Know can help you with your HIV Certificate for your visa. We can also help you to have a successful trip if you are HIV positive.