Seven-year-old Wang Kaijia has the biggest collection of toys in her village, but no one to play with. 'Other children know I have an illness and do not play with me. A boy in my class beat me up because of it,' Kaijia said. She tested positive for HIV in 1999. Neighbours and even relatives admit they still shun her. A neighbour of 20 years, Wang Zhuye , used to baby-sit Kaijia but has tried to avoid her and her father, Wang Weijin, since finding out she carried the virus. 'At the time we were frightened. Since then, we have not let our kids play with Kaijia. We do not ask her to come over either,' Ms Wang said. 'Even though it will not spread [through daily contact], we are still afraid ... [Mr Wang] feels uneasy visiting others and others don't want to visit him.' Chen Dongfang , who is married to Mr Wang's sister, Wang Xuexia , also avoids contact. They do not let their son play with Kaijia, even though they attend the same primary school. 'We also feel uneasy but we can't help it. Because of this illness, who dares look after her?' Mr Chen asked. Wu Xiumei , the wife of Mr Wang's younger brother, said they told their children to avoid Kaijia, even though both families live around the same courtyard. 'If we give Kaijia food, we use her bowl, not ours,' Ms Wu said. At Kaijia's school, some parents demanded that their children not be put in the same class as Kaijia, teacher Liu Xiaobo said. 'We have told children in the class not to speak of the disease in front of her and not to be afraid,' she said. Some pupils said they still played with Kaijia despite their fears. Others said they did not believe their teachers' reassurances that the virus could not be transmitted through casual contact. Kaijia said she did not know what HIV is or what happened to her mother but listened intently when her condition was discussed. She said she wanted to go to university and leave her 'dirty' hometown of Yicheng. Mr Wang has not discussed her grim future with her. 'The smarter she becomes, the more worried I am. Because the more she knows, the more painful it will be for her,' he said.