Central Vietnam province reports younger HIV/AIDS population

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HIV/AIDS patients in a central Vietnam province are getting younger, say alarmed local authorities.

A new report released by the Quang Nam administration shows 80 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases reported in the province as of last year were in the 20-39 age group, said news website Dan Tri.

It said most of the cases, 58 percent, were caused by drug injections and sexual transmission.

The report listed 277 AIDS deaths by the end of 2011 and 352 people contracting AIDS, out of 701 HIV infections recorded. Six children under 13 were infected with HIV, it said.

The Quang Nam administration has expressed concern that AIDS is having a wider impact in the community of late.

It has asked its HIV/AIDS Prevention Center, established in 2010, to step up activities this year towards containing the spread of the dreaded disease.

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As of the end of last year, Vietnam had nearly 198,000 HIV infections accounting for 0.22 percent of the population, including more than 14,000 news cases, the National Committee of HIV/AIDS Prevention said at a Wednesday meeting in Hanoi.

Most of the new cases occurred in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and northern provinces, and were caused by drug use and prostitution.

Health minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said Thursday health agencies will try to keep HIV infection rate among the population under 0.3 percent.

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