China passes legislation to ban blood sales
The Chinese legislature on Saturday passed a law to ban the purchase or sale of blood in the country in an effort to stop HIV infections associated with unsafe blood-buying practices in the country, the Los Angeles Times reports. As many as 1 million residents of China's Henan Province were infected with HIV after selling their blood to blood collectors who pooled the blood products, removed the plasma, and injected the remainder back into the donors to help them recover more quickly and be able to donate again sooner. The law takes effect immediately. The law also urges all levels of government to strengthen HIV prevention and control measures, calls on hospitals and blood collection centers to report on any signs of infectious diseases among patients and donors, and prohibits discrimination against any person with an infectious disease, including HIV. "The amended law sums up the lessons that China [learned] during its fight against the severe acute respiratory syndrome [outbreak] last year and its control of the bird flu outbreak this spring," Li Yuan, an official with the Legislative Affairs Commission under the National People's Congress Standing Committee, told China Daily.