Vietnam Faces Reality of AIDS

HANOI, Vietnam-Health officials in Vietnam have seen a surge of HIV-positive patients during the last year and intravenous drug use may be to blame.

The island nation reports 41,030 people have tested positive for HIV, with 6,138 people in the end stages of AIDS. More than 60% of those infected are illegal drug users.

Of the 61 cities and provinces in Vietnam, more than a dozen have reported their number of HIV-infected patients has doubled. The infectious increase has been attributed to a rising number of drug addicts.

Health officials the country could have more than 197,000 people infected with HIV by 2005. More than $4 million is spent each year in the country on prevention campaigns, test kits, and safe blood transfusion methods.

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