A school for HIV-positive children in Linfen, Shanxi province, will provide senior high school education after arranging for students to take the entrance exams for the first time.
Guo Xiaoping, head of the Red Ribbon School and president of the Linfen No 3 People's Hospital, which specializes in treating contagious diseases, said 16 students in the school have taken the senior high school entrance examination.
Teachers from the Linfen No 3 Middle School will start teaching the students senior high school courses at Red Ribbon after Sept 1, he said.
Taking the exams was an important experience for the Red Ribbon students, Guo said.
"It is the first time students at our school took a senior high school entrance exam," he said.
"I want them to know they need to try hard to get what they want, instead of taking things for granted just because they have been infected with the virus."
Like other examinees, the 16 students took this year's Shanxi senior high school entrance examination from June 20 to 22, Guo said.
"I'm a little afraid that people won't accept me. But I would like to go to a school out there, if I have the chance," a 17-year-old girl who took the test said.
The exam was given in strict adherence to the standards of a senior high school entrance exam, said Liu Liping, a teacher at the school.
The Red Ribbon School was set up in 2006 in what was a ward to treat HIV/AIDS patients. It now has 25 students.
The school has 16 teachers, but most of them are not qualified to teach senior high school courses, so they need counterparts from other schools to help, Guo said.
"I am very happy that teachers from the No 3 Middle School will come to teach the students, as it is a very famous school around here," he said.
An 18-year-old Red Ribbon student who took the exam said she would like to go to another school and see what it is like there.
"I am a grown-up. I can go to see the world outside," she said.