26 May 2019
Kunkun, 8, has been ostracized by his village in Sichuan. Photo: AFP
Kunkun, 8, has been ostracized by his village in Sichuan. Photo: AFP

Health ministry to support HIV boy villagers are trying to expel

The mainland government has promised to provide medical care and a living allowance for an HIV-positive boy villagers are trying to expel, AFP reported, citing state media.

About 200 residents, including the eight-year-old child’s grandfather, signed a petition last week to drive him out from their village in Sichuan province to “protect villagers’ health”.

Their action sparked widespread anger online at their ignorance and prejudice. 

The health ministry has pledged to ensure the boy, nicknamed Kunkun by the media, receives an education, the state-run China Daily said Monday. He had reportedly been denied admission to local schools.

The ministry has also pledged to conduct spot checks around the mainland to uncover any other violations of anti-discrimination policies, the newspaper reported.

The boy has been in his grandfather’s care since his parents left the impoverished village to seek work, the Beijing News said. 

The Global Times newspaper — an affiliate of the government mouthpiece, the People’s Daily – said the boy’s mother left the family in 2006 and his father lost contact after Kunkun’s condition was diagnosed. 

Reports said Kunkun was born HIV-positive through transmission of the virus from his mother.

“It’s strange that no one condemns the boy’s parents, who are so irresponsible and can be charged with abandonment in foreign countries,” one netizen posted on social media.

The child’s grandfather, Luo Wenhui, told the Beijing News he had signed the petition to remove Kunkun because he had “hoped it would make things better”, as the boy would receive better care elsewhere.

Kunkun told the newspaper he couldn’t remember what his parents looked like.

“Other children don’t play with me,” he said.

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