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AIDS cases in Iraq low

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BAGHDAD, Jul 31, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Iraq health officials said Saturday only 67 people in the entire nation are suffering from AIDS.

The anti-AIDS national program, part of the Iraqi health ministry, said in a statement in the capital, Baghdad, that those infected with the disease were being treated at the expense of the government.

It said the AIDS patients were receiving a monthly income of $1,000, in addition to free medical treatment in hospitals around the country.

The statement added that recent Iraqi legislation was issued to allow AIDS patients in Iraq to "conduct their normal day-to-day lives."

It said the health ministry had undertaken "strict measures to ensure that this serious disease is not spread in Iraq," including the compulsory testing of all those who enter the country, even Iraqi expatriates.

It added that only three people tested positive out of 9,000 people who entered Iraq recently and insisted that the country was "among the cleanest in the world due to the strict preventive program being implemented."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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