China bans blood selling

It’s about time.

China has made it illegal to buy and sell blood in an effort to stem the country’s growing AIDS epidemic, the first time the disease has been targeted in a law, state-run media reported Monday.

The legislature’s Standing Committee passed the law, which also requires the government to guarantee funds for infectious disease prevention, during a weekend meeting, the China Daily said. The smaller, Communist party-controlled body handles law-making when the National People’s Congress, the full legislature, is not in session.

The new ruling mandates that governments at various levels should strengthen prevention and control of the disease, the newspaper reported, “the first time that AIDS is specifically targeted in the law.”

The report did not provide any specifics on how that will be done.

Blood selling was the major factor in China’s initial wave of AIDS and still play a large part in the tragedy. It probably should have been banned 20 years ago.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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