HIV/AIDS CASES ON THE RISE IN KIRIBATI

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TARAWA, Kiribati (March 2, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The Kiribati government is concerned about the increasing number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country, with reports that the number of people infected with the disease may now be more than 20, Radio Kiribati reports.

Secretary for Health and Family Planning, Dr. Takeieta Kienene, says the government has approved a three-pronged master plan to prevent further spread of the disease. It includes a massive awareness program targeting the young, free condoms to be available at public and private bars, night clubs and other recreational centers, and continuing blood tests for those donating blood and having medical check ups.

So far, four AIDS patients in Kiribati have died.

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