Published: Friday 15 November 1996

With Asia fast outpacing sub-Saharan Africa as the region with the highest number of hiv -infected cases, asean members have decided to establish an aids centre to promote the sharing and collection of information on aids prevention and research. The proposal came up at the fourth meeting of the asean task force on aids which was recently held in Singapore.

The aids centre will assess and distribute information such as new findings and successful programmes carried out in the region to asean members. The World Health Organization (who ) estimates that 20 per cent of the total number of cases in the world are in Asia. Thailand presents the worst case scenario with an estimated 12 million hiv -positive cases by the year 2000. According to the who , nearly 46,000 people are likely to die of aids in Thailand this year. By comparison, only 111 Singaporeans were found to be infected with the hiv in 1995. The number of hiv cases in Singapore has increased to 419 this year.

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