Date
24 September 2017
Lai Chi-san has come under fire for publicizing unverified claims, via a Sky Post column, on HIV cases in Hong Kong. Photos: skypost.com, Facebook
Lai Chi-san has come under fire for publicizing unverified claims, via a Sky Post column, on HIV cases in Hong Kong. Photos: skypost.com, Facebook

Lai Chi-san says sorry after fuss over AIDS story

TV artist Lai Chi-san, who also goes by the name Maria Luisa Leitao, has apologized for stirring a controversy after she wrote in a Sky Post column that two teenage boys are believed to have contracted AIDS after having sex with their domestic helper.

Lai insisted that she did not fabricate the story, but admitted that she did not know the family in question personally, Apple Daily reported Friday.

She also said that it was never her intention to badmouth domestic helpers from the Philippines.

Lai wrote in her Sky Post column Wednesday that she had been informed by a friend that two brothers, aged 13 and 14, tested positive for the HIV virus after intimate relations with their domestic helper.

The boys and their parents underwent checks after learning that their domestic helper had contracted AIDS, she wrote, citing unverified second-hand information.

The friend who passed on the information to Lai is said to have obtained the story from someone else.  

Following Lai’s column, which went viral, several observers and netizens slammed her for circulating unsubstantiated claims.

Liu Tsui-lan of recruitment agency Technic Employment Service Centre, said she has never heard of such incident.  

Lai may have crossed the line by publicizing unverified stories, especially when the family in question had not come out to make a complaint, Liu said.

Apple Daily said inquires with the Department of Health suggested that there were five AIDS cases concerning patients aged 13 or below over the past five years. Four of the cases were said to have involved the children contracting the virus from their mothers.

However, there was no case pertaining to any 14-year-old or 15-year-old during the period, the department was quoted as saying.

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