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In An Utter Act Of Ignorance, Chinese Villagers Sign Petition To Banish HIV-Positive Boy

The plight of a Chinese boy with HIV, reportedly pushed to leave his home by 200 villagers who signed a petition, has sparked intense online soul-searching in the country.

Cover image via CNN

Over 200 Chinese villagers in the southwestern province of Sichuan have signed a petition to banish a HIV-positive eight-year-old boy. Even his own grandfather is among the petitioners.

Eight-year-old 'Kunkun', a name given to him by Chinese media, who suffers from HIV, sits on the doorstep of a village house in Xichong county, southwest China's Sichuan province, 18 December 2014

Image via AFP

As this photo from a People Daily's online report shows, the boy, named Kunkun, is carefully watching the villagers unanimously signing for his removal in a meeting held in early December

Villagers are signing their thumbprint as Kunkun watches

Image via ifengimg.com

"Kunkun is diagnosed with AIDS, causing great fear among the villagers and village children. In order to ensure the safety of villagers and children, we demand that authorities quarantine Kunkun for treatment," the petition reads.

cnn.com

Kunkun, a name given to protect his real identity, was expelled from school and ostracised by members of the community after he was diagnosed in 2011, the People Daily's newspaper reported

Image via ifengimg.com

"He's a ticking time bomb,' said one of the villagers

“My daughter is around his age and goes to a boarding school now. What happens if she gets bitten while playing with him here at home? That boy is too dangerous.”

abc.net.au

The villagers' letter to the authorities asks that Kunkun be taken away from the village and given medical treatment in isolation

The report said no school had dared accept the boy because other families would refuse to let their children study with him and that no one was allowed to play with him. One father described him as a “timebomb”.

The report said the boy contracted the disease from his mother before he was born. The county government office said that Kunkun's case is currently under discussion.

The report said Kunkun’s grandfather was looking after him on behalf of his adopted son, a migrant worker who met the child’s mother when she was already three months pregnant.

The boy’s father stopped sending money home or contacting his family after he learned the child had been diagnosed with HIV while being treated for an eye injury three years ago. The father’s younger brother has also stopped returning home for visits because he is afraid of contracting the virus.

The boy and his grandparents are reliant solely on meagre government benefits and their farm.

theguardian.com

Meanwhile, his grandfather has defended his support for the petition to banish him from their village, in a case that has sparked intense soul-searching in China, News.Net reported

The child's grandfather and guardian Luo Wenhui told the Beijing News daily that when he signed the petition he "hoped that it would make things better," as the boy would receive improved care elsewhere.

"We are getting too old, and he is getting more naughty...we don't have the ability to look after him," Luo said. "If he didn't live better outside the village, he could come back."

Luo, who is aged over 60, told the paper that he "did not have long to live" and that the petition was suggested by a local journalist as a way of drawing attention the his grandson's plight.

news.net

The case has prompted huge debate on Chinese social media and highlighted the stigma attached to the disease in a country where sufferers face widespread discrimination

Kunkun lying on the ground in his village, playing with grass.

Image via sbs.com.au

In another less serious case, a proud Chinese family has 'spammed' a highway with several billboards of their 16-year-old's birthday party invitation. Read on...