At least five infected with HIV at Chinese traditional medicine hospital

February 9, 2017

At least five patients at a traditional Chinese medicine hospital in China were accidentally infected with HIV, officials said Thursday, as authorities moved to censor online discussion over the incident.

A technician at the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine re-used a tube employed in an earlier medical exam for an HIV-positive patient, the province's health and family planning commission said in a statement on its official website, calling it a "severe violation of procedure".

The local centre for disease control confirmed that five patients were infected, it added, without offering further information about the total number of patients the technician may have exposed to the virus.

The government body had been notified of the situation by the hospital on January 26. It did not explain why no statement was issued in the interim period, nor did it specify when the infections occurred.

It was not clear what those who were accidentally infected were originally being treated for.

As of Thursday afternoon, the hospital's website had been taken offline. No hospital representatives could be reached for comment.

Most Chinese-language media reports about the accidental HIV infections had been deleted by Thursday afternoon, leaving only the short government statement in online circulation.

Many critical comments on social media had been removed.

"It's really a disaster. I can't imagine the accident happened in one of the best hospitals in Hangzhou," said one of the few posts still remaining on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

One user "shocked" by the incident noted that posts about it were rapidly being deleted and that major Chinese news outlets had disabled comment and forwarding functions on their online reports.

Calling the censorship disgusting, the user added: "I think people have the right to know the truth."

In a 2015 report China told the UN that it had 501,000 cases of HIV/AIDS as of the end of 2014.

News of the accidental infections comes days after China announced plans to double the number of AIDS patients it treats with TCM as part of a broader push to increase the use of the ancient practice in the country's medical system.

Explore further: China promotes traditional medicine to combat AIDS

Related Stories

China promotes traditional medicine to combat AIDS

February 6, 2017
China will double the number of AIDS patients it treats with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), officials have said, part of a broader push to increase the use of the ancient practice in the country's medical system.

China HIV leak violates patients' rights: WHO

July 19, 2016
A leak of HIV carriers' identities in China was a violation of their "fundamental right", the World Health Organization said, after reports that hundreds of infected people were approached by telephone swindlers.

Study examines association of asbestos exposure, mesothelioma in Eastern China

December 1, 2016
A new research letter published online by JAMA Oncology looks at asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma in Eastern China.

Three H7N9 cases in same Chinese family, Xinhua reports

January 29, 2014
Three members of the same Chinese family have contracted H7N9 bird flu in the province worst-affected by the current spike in cases, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Hundreds monitored in Taiwan after bird flu case

January 1, 2014
Taiwanese authorities are monitoring hundreds of people who may have had contact with a mainland Chinese tourist infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

HIV-AIDS: Following your gut

September 18, 2017
Researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) have discovered a way to slow viral replication in the gastrointestinal tract of people infected by HIV-AIDS.

Study finds cutbacks in foreign aid for HIV treatment would cause great harm

August 30, 2017
Proposed reductions in U.S. foreign aid would have a devastating impact on HIV treatment and prevention programs in countries receiving such aid, an international team of investigators reports. In their paper published online ...

Cancer drug can reactivate HIV

August 24, 2017
People living with HIV must take a combination of three or more different drugs every day for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, by following this strict treatment plan, they can suffer from side effects ranging from ...

New injectable antiretroviral treatment proved to be as effective as standard oral therapy

August 3, 2017
Intramuscularly administered antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be as effective for HIV treatment as current oral therapies. This is the main conclusion of a Phase II clinical trial carried out by 50 research centers around ...

Research finds home-based kit would increase HIV testing

July 31, 2017
Research led by William Robinson, PhD, Associate Research Professor of Behavioral & Community Health Sciences at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health, has found that 86% of heterosexuals who are at high risk for ...

Scientists divulge latest in HIV prevention

July 25, 2017
A far cry from the 1990s "ABC" campaign promoting abstinence and monogamy as HIV protection, scientists reported on new approaches Tuesday allowing people to have all the safe sex they want.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.