Vietnam government will punish HIV discrimination
Vietnam's prime minister on Monday announced that the nation's government has issued a decree to permit the punishment of people who discriminate against those infected with HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. The government will be able to fine businesses that fire HIV-positive employees or schools that dismiss HIV-positive teachers or students and issue fines to anyone who publicizes the HIV antibody test results, names, addresses, or photographs of HIV-positive people without their consent. The United Nations had been sharply critical of Vietnam for HIV-related discrimination and stigmatization in the country and for failing to do more to stop the spread of HIV. Vietnam's government last week announced that in June it will launch a five-year, $38.5 million HIV prevention program through a grant from the World Bank. There are 245,000 registered HIV cases in the country, but AIDS experts say that could rise to 1 million by 2010.