42 people have been tested positive for HIV virus in a commune in Phu Tho Province as the health ministry are investigating into possible AIDS infections allegedly caused by a local doctor.
The figure was announced in a press meeting held late Monday afternoon by Phu Tho Provincial People’s Committee.
According to the committee’s deputy chairman, Ha Ke San, 42 people have been diagnosed as HIV positive so far in Kim Thuong Commune, Tan Son District. San said that this is a high rate in the area but not the only cases in the country as statistics show that at present 61 communes have the same rate of HIV infections.
“Now our first priority is to make sure that all infected people receive proper treatment,” San said.
Deputy director of Phu Tho Provincial Department of Health, Le Quang Tho, said that 490 local people have come for HIV/AIDS testing and 42 people have been found positive.
Addressing the meeting, a representative from the Ministry of Health said that they are still investigating the cause of the infections.
“There have been complaints from infected people that they got the virus from a local doctor who used the same needles for multiple patients but we need further investigations as the HIV virus can be transmitted through various ways,” the ministry’s representative said.
Nguyen Hoang Long, head of the Ministry of Health’s Department for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, said that they would carry out a survey on the infection situation in the whole area first and then look into individual cases.
Around one month ago, a 59-year-old woman in Kim Thuong Commune was diagnosed as HIV positive. She was extremely shocked at the news as she only stayed at home farming, while her husband was tested negative for HIV. So she did not know how she could be infected.
The woman said that she used to get injections at the clinic owned by a doctor who was working at Tan Son District General Hospital.
Kim Thuong is a remote area, so when local residents have health problems, they often come to this clinic, instead of coming to hospitals.
Local people suspected that the doctor might have used the same needles with patients, which could be the cause of the woman’s HIV infection.
A report from Phu Tho Health Department said that five people have died from HIV/AIDS in Kim Thuong Commune over the past three years.
Tu Anh report on Dtinews