Living with HIV in Guangzhou

In January I got a pre-health in America while applying for my Z-visa. Everything turned out fine. I arrived in China two weeks ago, and got my mandatory health check like every expat has to. It was reported to me that I tested positive for HIV. There was a second test, and it turned positive too. This came as quite a shock to me. The virus must have still been in the incubation stage when I got tested in January

I was told by my employers and immigration that I'm welcome to stay in China, but the doctor that reported the results to me said that it would be in my best interests to go back to America to get treatment. The reasons the doctor gave were that the hospitals and treatment in America would be much better than China's. She also said there is only one hospital in China that is equipped to deal with HIV patients, and they only have local patients. She said it is very unlikely that any of the doctors or staff there would be able to speak English.

While I am concerned about my health, I have invested too much time and money to make the career move to China. I don't just want to turn around and go home just after I arrived. The work experience I will gain here will be very valuable to me. I find it hard to believe that there would only be one hospital in Guangzhou that can treat people with HIV or that there are no staff that can speak English. If anyone has any information they can share about hospitals in Guangzhou, foreign or local, that can treat HIV patients, it would be much appreciated.

The only other problem I see staying in China is cost of going on a program and taking the pills. I'm insured under Ping An which seems to cover nothing, but it can't be much worse or expensive than America where I have no health insurance at all.

there is an amarican hospital in tianhe near the east railway station or san yat sen third hospital tianhe gang Deng near the east railway station god bless you

I would go back to the United States to confirm the test results.  I'm also surprised they didn't just deport you immediately.

sorry for you got the Virus.  as I know the No 8 Hospital treat HIV patients.  it is not far from the Garden hotel.   If you are gay guy.  go to the website:    you maybe can got free anti- Virus drug from the disease prvente department. of Gov.  good luck

Thanks for the replies. I will check these hospitals out. Hopefully the cost of treatment will be inexpensive here.

I was tested twice in China. The second test was a confirmation test. The test I got in the states was based just off one drop of blood, and it was only a reaction/no reaction test. It was also around the time the virus should have been in incubation based on my past sexual activity. It would be a waste of time and money to fly back just to find out I'm HIV positive again.

As of 2010, China stopped banning people with HIV from having a visa. I was just given my residency visa the other day  so I'm good to go now.

Not to get on the soap box, but I have never had a STD my entire life. I also use a condom 95% of the time. But I'm sure most of you know, sometimes passions run high, and it kills the mood to stop and put one on. It's tragic my first STD had to be HIV. I have friends that never use a condom, and get gonorrhea or chlamydia at least once a month. Maybe they have HIV and don't know it. So if anyone is reading this, learn from my mistake. It was one that could have been so easily prevented. Keep it wrapped up.

It seems that there are more than one hospital in China that treats patients with HIV and since it is just a matter of controlling the virus with pills then I don't see what the problem is. By the way, God loves us all, whether you are a homosexual or heterosexual or bisexual.

justonefyx :

I also use a condom 95% of the time.

Not to beat a dead horse, but that doesn't work.  That's like only drinking poison one day a week.

Thailand or India  have  much cheaper price for those drugs.   
BTW: as I know there is only hospital ( the No 8 hospital ) treat AIDS patients.  if you go to another hospital, they will  refer it to you.  the Doc is tell  the turth.

So sorry to hear that, guy.

Yes, Joey is right that the No. 8 Hospital is the right hospital for HIV. Maybe you can visit No. 8 Hospital and check whether the doctors can speak English. I do know that some doctors may speak good English because they would study abroad once in a while. Also, Chinese are learning English pretty hard.

o.O I would think you need to return IMMEDIATELY. Even folks in China sometimes worry about drug quality and the authorities there battle to ensure purity vs. knock-offs. That's not an insult or anything, just widely admitted: the US's INSANE costs on many things happens to be because the drug-distribution and security-network itself is intense. China, in its own words (or, to quote a friend), is 'still developing' and no, it's not surprising that like 1 hospital only would do treatment:

That whole system itself is under dev and HIV etc. were taboo until recently...I'm actually also surprised there wasn't an immediate deportation. China has laws against foreign persons with communicable diseases and your just being there, in fact, could be an issue if later someone else pops-up who suddenly has HIV.

But with HIV the deal need to get the jump on that virus. Have you ever seen someone immunocompromised? I don't mean just HIV but, for instance, someone who has chemo treatment from a few weeks before? A tiny sniffle of someone standing nearby them, and two days later they're dying of pneumonia. The time + money "wasted" is awful, or potentially your life?

The earlier the treatment, the more consistent--and you need to be super consistent--the better for you. I'm sorry for your acquiring that too. :\ p.s. if I remember correctly (and I may not), a condom's smallest molecular holes are still like 10x the size of an HIV viron, but statistically they *help* with those sort of things. So folks...don't believe a globe for "love" will be safe. Not to mention one little tear...

I'm really sorry to that.

There is only one hospital in Guangzhou which can treat HIV patients..... that is no.8 hospital... As being a doc I can tell you all other's ll refer to this hospital.... No.8 hospital is HIV specialist Govt. hospital(that means best for HIV) . So better not to waste money around...Hope you ll beat the HIV.... STAY CLEAN, HEALTHY n BLESSED.....)

                                                                                                              Dr. Francis

I was offered a job opportunity in Shanghai. As someone who lives with HIV, I am not sure if I could get a resident permit from China authorities. I haven't said yes to the offer.

Advice, please? Is it for sure that China has lifted the ban for resident and work permit?

Thank you!

Hi im moving to quanzhou next month but im also infected by the virus through transfusion. its actually controlled now because im on medical therapy already. would they decline my work visa if i declare to them bout my status? thank you.

Hello, I am also an expat in China. In my province, they might start to require a health check every year. I'd like to know if they will info your employer if you are positive. I don't want my employer to know about it. I am afraid that they will info my empolyer and not extend my working visa.

I heard they have lifted the ban, but each local government has their own practice. It is possible they will find another excuse to reject positive person. I am also thinking go to Shanghai. Please share information if you find out more.


Hi, are you still in Guangzhou China? I've been on medications for a while and am skeptical about going to the hospital here in China simply because they might deport me and stuff. I need a heads up.. Thanks

I am HIV+ and otherwise am perfectly healthy.  I have been on HAART for more than 10 years.  Right now I am strongly considering taking a job in China, but I am a bit worried about two issues.  (1) ARE HIV drugs easily available at least in urban areas?  (2) Are these drugs part of the National Health scheme or do you pay out of pocket?  If so, what is the relative cost?  (3)  Is one´s employer informed of the results of the required medical examination results? 

Finally, it looks like some HIV positive people in China actually do their HIV treatment and drug purchasing outside of China.  How does that work?

Hello, it's been awhile since I checked this thread. Just an update for everyone.
I came to China unaware of my status and was found positive in China. Since I was already in China, maybe that is why they let me stay. I'm not sure if they will give a visa to someone that is positive but not in China yet.
I also know that each city has different immigration laws. I've been given a job offer to Shanghai, but I need to look into their immigration laws there too. I also need to know if there is a hospital there that can treat HIV patients.
As for treatment in China, if you are not a Chinese citizen, you will have to pay full cost for the drugs. They are about 4400 RMB a month, plus another 1800 every 3 months for CD4/viral load/liver function testing. That's still cheaper than America but more than I want to pay. I fly to Thailand every three months and buy the drugs there that cost next to nothing. Within two months of taking these pills from Thailand, my CD4 when to normal levels and my viral load became undetectable. Flights are cheap from Guangzhou and I save a lot more money flying to Thailand than buying my medicine in China.
My HIV doctor in Guangzhou tells me she has other expat patients, and my HIV doctor in Thailand tells me he has several expat patients living in China, so it is possible to live in China with HIV. You just have to have the funds and an employer that will grant you AL when you need to fly to Thailand when you need to.

I sent you a private message, please answer, thanks a lot in advance

jdteacher :

I am HIV+ and otherwise am perfectly healthy.  I have been on HAART for more than 10 years.  Right now I am strongly considering taking a job in China, but I am a bit worried about two issues.  (1) ARE HIV drugs easily available at least in urban areas?  (2) Are these drugs part of the National Health scheme or do you pay out of pocket?  If so, what is the relative cost?  (3)  Is one´s employer informed of the results of the required medical examination results? 

Finally, it looks like some HIV positive people in China actually do their HIV treatment and drug purchasing outside of China.  How does that work?

Hi JD it's good to hear that you are healthy and feeling well. Do you have to declare to the Chinese authorities your condition. I expect you do right.

Hello , I thank you for posting this and I am sorry for the ordeal you had, I hope you are well and have received the help you needed- I too need some advice for research purposes about foreigners working in China with health issues and I would very much like to know how things are going there for you and what help you received . Please reply to my email  thank you.

Moderated by Christine last year
Reason : please share your contact details via pm. Thank you


I am planning to travel and moving to Shanghai for living but I am hiv positive. Is there any possibility to be rejected by the government? Furthermore, I need to pick my meds with me during my trip, and I am afraid that there were found in the airport or I get to be asked by the authorities why am I bringing these sort of meds. Any advice to handle this matter?


Did anyone advise you regarding the above?

Hy buddy,

Hope you are doing well. Are you still in China? I just would like to know more about how to handle this situation in China, as I got a job offer in China too, but I am afraid about if they find my status will reject my residence permit.

Thanks for your help!

They will most certainly reject your residence permit if they find out your status., that is why you need to find alternative ways to reside there. ( legally, though.) they still give out visa to people with hiv?


I know its been quite a long time since the post but do you know anything about Hong Kong? Do they reject your work permit and deport you if your health check results come back HIV positive?


I would appreciate to hear more from people who tested HIV positive and successfully received a work permit / residence permit in China.  From the above, it appears that possibly Guangzhou has a more lenient policy? 

As for Shanghai and Beijing, I recently asked multiple visa consultancies whether a residence permit would be granted to an HIV positive individual. I was told that previous HIV positive applicants/clients (as recent as 2016) were denied visas and residence permits. All consultancies advised against applying.

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