China’s Ministry of Commerce has come under fire after announcing a draft regulation to ban people with HIV/AIDS from visiting public bathhouses, because apparently no members of the Ministry of Commerce have even an elementary knowledge of the disease and/or biology generally.
The draft law would require bathhouses, foot spas, and hot springs to post anti-AIDS/HIV visitor signs, and failure to comply can result in fines of up to 30,000 yuan. The entire premise of the law, however, is quite stupid, as even the China Daily will report:
Xiao Dong, head of China Rainbow Health Organization, which focuses on advocating knowledge for preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, said the ban is a step backward. […]
“It’s common sense that people don’t get HIV from sharing baths or swimming pools,” he said. “It’s not possible for the disease to be transmitted when the viruses, already weak outside the human body, are diluted by the baths and deactivated by chlorine in the water.”
But the warning signs will do little to help curb new cases, [director of the National Center for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease Control and Prevention] Wu said. “You can’t tell by one’s appearance if they are HIV-positive or not. How can bathhouses check whether customers have the virus?” he said.
Xiao, the health knowledge advocator, said, “It’s better to do more advocacy on safe sex rather than putting up a sign,” adding that putting up such warning signs risks increasing the stigma against people with HIV/AIDS.
Any funds used in this new sign project would certainly be better spent improving China’s terrible, awful, regressive, upside-down sex-ed system.
[Image via Flickr]