Chinese villager Wang Pinghe (ping-huh) wants the tumor in his liver removed before it becomes life-threatening. But the 28-year-old knows it will be hard to find a hospital that will do the operation — because he has AIDS.
Hospitals in China routinely reject people with HIV for surgery out of fear of exposure to the virus or harm to their reputations. China has significantly improved care for AIDS patients, but the lingering stigma sets back those advances.
The stigma against people with HIV runs especially deep in China, from being unofficially barred from government jobs to being expelled from school.
Now, as more people rail against the myriad inequalities that plague Chinese society, people with HIV are increasingly willing to assert their right to fair treatment.