Hundreds in Chile not told of positive HIV tests
rahul | November 13, 2008 at 08:24 pmby
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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Chile is scrambling to reach people who could be unknowingly spreading AIDS. Public health services failed to tell 512 people that they tested positive for HIV, and private-sector services failed to inform an estimated 1,700, Health Minister Alvaro Erazo told lawmakers Thursday. Chile's public health service says some patients provided incorrect addresses, but in about half the cases, there is no evidence anyone tried to reach them. «There is no justification for that,» said Erazo, who was summoned to Congress after the scandal forced his predecessor to resign. Now Chile is launching an intense campaign to locate and inform the patients. Erazo said it would be done with the most confidentiality possible. But it appears some health workers weren't getting that message. In Puerto Montt, a man who refused to be identified by name said two health officials arrived at his workplace in an ambulance, and in the presence of his boss, told him he is HIV-positive. «I lost my job and my girlfriend» as a result, the man told Radio Cooperativa of Santiago. «My family is broken. Of 18,500 AIDS cases registered in Chile since 1984, 5,710 people have died of the disease, Erazo said.
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