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Report: Chinese man plans to appeal HIV discrimination case

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • He was rejected for a teaching job because of his HIV status
  • The case is notable because China's legal system tends to avoid sensitive cases
  • Teachers Law requires applicants to meet mental and physical qualifications, the judge says
  • Employment law makes it illegal to discriminate based on infectious diseases, his lawyer says

Beijing, China (CNN) -- An HIV-positive job candidate plans to appeal after losing a discrimination case in China, state media says.

"We were very shocked and disappointed when we heard the verdict," attorney Li Fangping said of his client, according to China Daily.

"We will definitely appeal."

The man sued after he was rejected for a teaching job because of his HIV status. He goes by the alias Xiao Wu to protect his identity in a country with widespread HIV discrimination.

The case, notable because China's legal system tends to avoid sensitive cases, was decided Friday by a court in China's eastern Anhui province.

The decision left Xiao Wu determined to pursue his suit against the education and labor departments of Anqing city in Anhui, China Daily said.

"I was not only angry, but also I cannot understand why my demand was rejected," said the man, who is in his early 20s.

"My contact with my students will be no more than as one of their peers. I do not understand why I am regarded as not qualified as a teacher."

The ruling was in line with the Teachers Law, which requires applicants to meet mental and physical qualifications, the chief judge in the case said, according to China Daily.

But a 2008 employment law makes it illegal to discriminate against applicants with an infectious disease, Xiao Wu's lawyers said.

Medical screening revealed Xiao Wu's HIV status after he had already passed written tests and interviews, according to China Daily.

China had an estimated 740,000 HIV patients in 2009, according to the international AIDS nonprofit group AVERT. Cases are under-reported, especially in rural areas, the group says.