In China， there is an old saying that health is the capital of every business. Health is always the top priority in human history. Without a healthy body， there will not be a whole life and successful career.
To improve the health of the whole nation， realize the dream of popularized medicine service and get away from the suffering of diseases are the pursuits of human beings. If the morbidity rate of hepatitis B is not that high， the panic brought by it is not that widespread and the phenomena of HBVER discrimination do not exist， there is a possibility that people will treat hepatitis B as a cold. In 2006 when American biologist Baruch Blumberg visited China， he said he was “sorry” for his discovery of Hepatitis B testing technology because “it caused so many Chinese people into an awkward circumstance”.
HBVER discrimination is a mass discrimination rare-seen in modern society
In China， Hepatitis B is also called China’s first disease. Infant carriers cannot go to kindergarten， student carriers cannot have further study and graduates and job hunters are all subject to discrimination.
In 2003， Zhang Xianzhu， a graduate in Anhui Province， China， participated in the national examination of civil servant of Anhui Province. He ranked first both in the written exam and the interview but got rejected for he was found infected with Hepatitis B viruses in the physical examination. Later on， he formally filed an administrative proceeding to the court to sue that the personnel department “discriminates against Hepatitis B patients”. At last， the court’s verdict was that the decision of the personnel department was lack of evidence. This was China’s first case of HBVER discrimination. Zhou Yizhao， who graduated from Zhejiang University of China， had a similar experience. In 2003， Zhou Yichao was found positive for Hepatitis B test in the physical examination of civil servant and got rejected. Out of rage， Zhou Yichao stabbed one cadre of the personnel department to death and another one to injury. Actually， the cases of HBVER discrimination are not limited to Zhou Yichao and Zhang Xianzhu. Similar cases can be found everywhere on the Internet.
In China， Hepatitis B virus carriers suffer the most severe kind of employment discrimination （among location， age， nationality， gender， education， Aids， farmer’s background， etc.） The government has many restrictions on Hepatitis B patients in written forms. For instance， they cannot donate blood or organs， cannot be directly employed by food and tableware industries， and cannot work in kindergartens or other special industries in the army. They are not advised to work in health care industry. From 2007， the Chinese government began to seek every possible means to provide legal basis for the protection of the rights of Hepatitis B virus carriers. However， it is not easy to eliminate the discrimination of the public to Hepatitis B virus carriers. Out of concern of the safety of public health， it is common that countries have certain stipulations that Hepatitis B virus carriers cannot directly work in food industries. But in the USA and Japan， there are also cases that employees in food industries do not have to take the health check of liver.
“Hepatitis B fighters”
fight for rights
In July， 2012， a Hepatitis B fighter from Shanghai Lei Chuang went to Guangzhou. This time he came because of the slogan of a hotpot store “one person， one pot to prevent Hepatitis B”. Actually， Hepatitis B will not get transmitted via eating together. This slogan is misleading. Lei Chuang asked the restaurant to take off the slogan. He put up a sign in front of the restaurant to find a person to eat with him. After the broadcast of the news， there are 13 people remained to eat with Lei Chuang.
Lei Chuang is a Hepatitis B virus carrier. In his first year at middle school， Lei Chuang and his elder brother were found out to be Hepatitis B virus carriers. His mother was concerned with their situation and was afraid that they might be discriminated against. In 2007， his mother’s concerns became reality. Lei Chuang’s brother was rejected by a national enterprise because he was a Hepatitis B virus carrier. Lei Chuang felt greatly hurt in the misfortune of his brother and the grief of his mother. He thought that if Hepatitis B discrimination continued to exist， there would be more parents to experience the same with his own parents because there is a family and a pair of parents of every Hepatitis B virus carrier.
So， Lei Chuang launched a series of actions for rights keeping. In these years， Lei Chuang looked for people to eat together all over China and launched activities of Hepatitis B virus carriers looking for people to eat together. He called on schools not to discriminate Hepatitis B virus carriers and persuade units not to check Hepatitis B. He tried his best to fight for the rights of Hepatitis B virus carriers.
Professor Cai Dingjian of China University of Political Science and Law said： “For an individual， the healthy development involves two equal chances. One is the equal chance of education and the other is the equal chance of employment. The importance of Lei Chuang lies in the fact that he is a social actor who bravely rips a breach in the current discrimination in the education field and he made a voice for the numerous Hepatitis B virus carriers.” In July， 2009， the Chinese government issued Regulations for the Implementation of Food Safety Law which stipulated that Hepatitis B virus carriers are no longer forbidden to work in food industry. After a month’s effort， Lei Chuang became the first Hepatitis B virus carrier who holds a health certificate in food industry.
In 2006， Chinese popular star Andy Lau confirmed that he has been a Hepatitis B virus carrier since he was young. In taking part in the promoting activities of hepatitis prevention and treatment， he promoted the knowledge of Hepatitis B prevention with demonstration and acted as an ambassador for preventing and controlling Hepatitis B. Andy Lau said： “Hepatitis B can only be contagious by the contact of blood and body fluid and not by other kinds of body contact including eating together and courtesy kissing. Therefore we should not discriminate against Hepatitis B patients.”
The elimination of
Just around the corner
In contrast with the HBVER discrimination in China， in European countries， people hold a more calm and objective attitude towards Hepatitis B patients and seldom discriminate against them.
Hepatitis B virus was first found in aboriginal Australians. However， according to Australian law， except the professions of health and medical care， professions do not have definite restrictions on Hepatitis B virus carriers. In Australia， the Management Practice on Aids and Hepatitis in Workplaces stipulates that the relationship of employment should be reached on the basis of the employees’ virtue and ability and not on the basis whether they have Hepatitis B or not.
On the website of the English government， there is a description about Hepatitis B virus carriers： “A lot of people are worried that they may get the disease at work. However， in most professions， there is no risk of getting the disease. It is absolutely safe for the normal contact of sociality and work.” From this， we can see that the English government holds a very objective attitude towards Hepatitis B virus carriers. A Chinese student studying in England said that he held a health certificate in China stating that he is a Hepatitis B virus carrier. However， the certificate is not used in England for people there do not discriminate against the disease. They do not care about it.
In Switzerland， there is a high standard for the recruitment of civil servants but the test does not include Hepatitis B. Officials in the education bureau of Switzerland said that in terms of going to school or kindergarten in Switzerland， children and students are not forced to show their health certificate. And in Switzerland， the test for Hepatitis B is a special service not included in ordinary tests.
Asian and African countries are the “disastrous areas”. It cannot be said that there is no discrimination phenomenon but the number is quite few.
There are over 1 million Hepatitis B patients in Japan but there are few cases of Hepatitis B discrimination in finding jobs and entering school. Even in food industry， employers have no right to ask employees to take liver tests. Except in some special industries， the Japanese government does not ask employees to take Hepatitis B virus test in recruiting civil servants.
In Vietnam， there are similar orientation checks just like in China， especially for the employees for government offices who have to take the health examination organized by the offices. Hepatitis B test in not included in the health examinations for candidates for college entrance examination. The number of Hepatitis B patients in India is only second to that in China. According to the Chinese people working and living in India， they have not heard about the cases of discriminating against Hepatitis B patients. Similarly， In ROK， Hepatitis B patients and Hepatitis B virus carriers are restricted to serve in the army. Except that， government does not forbid Hepatitis B patients to enter school or work.
With the increasingly deepen knowledge of liver disease of the public in recent years， the Chinese government has started to set up related laws to oppose “HBVER discrimination”. The Medical Common Standard for Civil Servant （on trial） issued in 2005 formally abolished the restrictions to Hepatitis B virus carriers. Employment Promotion Law made in 2007 explicitly stipulated for the first time that employers cannot reject employees for the reason of being a Hepatitis B virus carrier to protect the employment rights of Hepatitis B patients and to promote fairness in employment. The Food Safety Law issued in 2009 abolished the restrictions to Hepatitis B virus carriers stipulated by the original Food Safety Law. The Implementing Regulation explicitly distinguished Hepatitis B （blood-borne diseases） from other gastrointestinal diseases like hepatitis A， hepatitis E and allows Hepatitis B patients and virus carriers to work in food industry.
From Hepatitis B vaccines to HBVER discrimination， what we have seen is the fear of Hepatitis B has twisted human’s morality. The sea can hold the water from thousands of rivers； it's big because of its capacity. Everyone should open their hearts and have a fair opinion towards Hepatitis B virus and the psychological needs of Hepatitis B patients， which is the manifestation of modern civilization.
Different countries hold different opinions towards Hepatitis B virus carriers. Some are tolerant， some are discriminative. We believe that human’s nature is kind and things are developing. We hope that the continuously improved systems， medical technology and public’s knowledge of Hepatitis B can totally get rid of HBVER discrimination and give Hepatitis B virus carriers a bright future.
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