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UAE records 35 new HIV cases among nationals in 2007
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recorded 35 new HIV cases among its nationals in the first 11 months of 2007, local newspaper Khaleej Times reported on Monday.

The total number of HIV cases among UAE nationals stands at 734, the reported quoted Undersecretary of Ministry of Health Abdul Ghaffar Al Ghafoor as saying.

"All the reported cases have been due to unprotected sex with an infected person and use of drugs involving infected needles," Ghafoor said.

"But the UAE does not face a real problem as the infected number remains low compared to other parts of the world," he added.

The UAE government is spreading the message of prevention by conducting massive public awareness campaigns and a five-year action plan to combat AIDS is being formulated, he said.

As for the prevalence of the virus among expatriates, the official said that no statistics is available because those who were found to be infected were repatriated immediately.

"We ensure that no HIV-infected person enters the country and that's the reason why we hold medical fitness programs before a person who is given a residence visa," he added.

The UAE currently has a total population of 4.1 million, of whom 21.9 percent are native, according to official figures.

(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2007)

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