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By Ifereimi Nadore

SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 27, 1998 - Fiji Times/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---A massive increase in sexually transmitted diseases among Fiji high school students has alarmed health authorities, the Fiji Times reports.

One patient who died of AIDS this year admitted to having more than 100 sexual partners.

Over 50 percent of the patients treated this year are students - the youngest a 15-year-old boy - who first contracted the disease when he was 11.

The Lautoka STD Clinic medical officer, Dr. Arvin Chaudhary, said the alarming figures indicated the lack of understanding on the danger of sex diseases among students.

"It's surprising that students got the largest number despite efforts being put together by the Health Ministry and the Education Department," said Dr. Chaudhary.

He said that since people were having sexual intercourse at a very young age there was a danger of sexual disease at the primary school level.

"Most of the students don't even know the identity of their partners," he said.

Dr. Chaudhary said that one of the patients had more than 100 sexual partners. The patient died in July this year after doctors discovered that he contracted AIDS.

"There are more people out there but they are not willing to come forward and be tested," he said.

He said that to counter the problem, a new STD clinic had been set up in Lautoka which offered an after hours service from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The new center offers free counseling, sex education and provides free condoms.

Title -- 1842 HEALTH: Fiji school sex disease scare Date -- 27 November 1998 Byline -- Ifereimi Nadore Origin --" target="_blank"> Source -- Fiji Times, 27/11/98 Copyright -- FT Status -- Unabridged This document is for educational and personal use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius:" target="_blank">

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