Village Petition to Expel ‘AIDS Boy’ Was Started by Reporters?


There’s been a lot of media attention on the story of Kunkun, a boy infected with HIV, whose fellow villagers recently demanded he be removed from his hometown in Sichuan Province.

Well, now there’s a new twist: The petition letter was apparently written by two journalists, and the village meeting held to discuss the decision was directed by the journalists as well.

Hui Li, the village chief, told Chinese media Guancha: “I said I didn’t know how to write the joint letter, but they [the journalists] said they could write it for us. At first I thought the joint letter would only include Kunkun’s name, basic situation, and our wish that he could be adopted by the appropriate organization. But they decided to add the word ‘expelled’ to the letter.”

Kunkun’s grandfather and carer, Sheng Luo, didn’t shy away from the idea of sending Kunkun away, but he told Guancha he only wanted Kunkun to have a better place to stay, and receive a good education.

At 69, he is unable to take care of Kunkun any longer. He sought help from a local TV station in the past, hoping that a nonprofit organization could adopt Kunkun, but never received a response.

Earlier this month, the two reporters heard about the story, and talked to Luo. He told Guancha:

They said writing a ‘joint letter’ is a good way to get more attention.

The journalists claimed that they did so with good intentions. In any case, Kunkun has now received donations from several kind people, and some charities are willing to adopt him.

So it looks like there’ll be a happy ending to his story.

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