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Taiwan HIV
patients face eviction

Taiwan HIV
patients face eviction

Twenty-two HIV-positive people living in a housing facility for AIDS patients in Taipei, Taiwan, face eviction from the property after neighbors protested the existence of the housing complex, the Taipei Times reports. Six HIV-positive children and 15 HIV-positive adults currently live at Midway Home, built by the Harmony Home Association.

The housing facility recently relocated to the neighborhood after the landlord at the facility's previous location decided not to renew the lease after he discovered it housed HIV-positive people, Midway Home officials say. Nicole Yang, secretary general of the Harmony Home Association, says city police alerted people living near the home's new location that it houses AIDS patients. Local residents issued a statement during a township meeting held on July 1 claiming that "many of the AIDS patients are drug addicts or gay people", and saying "We refuse to live under the fear that one day one of those people may stab other residents with a needle or have a bad influence on our children."

Yang says her organization has attempted to educate area residents about HIV and that it can be transmitted only through shared drug needles or unprotected sex. "People will not be at risk of contracting HIV by having an AIDS patient living next door," she told the Times. But she notes the organization's educational efforts have largely fallen on deaf ears.

Because city officials have failed to weigh in on the issue, the housing facility will be forced to move--perhaps as early as next week--if residents of the area continue to oppose having it in their neighborhood, Yang says.

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