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HIV/AIDS Has Claimed 240 Lives in Nepal: Government

May 2, 2003

Nepalese officials said Wednesday that 240 people have died of AIDS, while 2,800 have the disease. Dhruva Prasad, assistant director of the state-run HIV/AIDS Control Center, said sex workers and IV drug users were responsible for the spread of the disease in the country. "There are altogether 60,000 people who are HIV-positive. Of them at least 20,000 are drug users," Prasad said at a press conference in Kathmandu. "Over 5,000 sex workers in Kathmandu are also posing health hazards by spreading HIV/AIDS," said Rishi Raj Ojha, director of Youth Power-Nepal, a non-governmental organization. Experts added that some men working abroad have infected their wives with HIV. The first case of HIV/AIDS in Nepal was reported in 1988.

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