Some 600 people, including 180 women, are suffering from AIDS in Oman where 300 have died from the virus since it was first diagnosed in the sultanate in 1984, according to health ministry figures published Wednesday.
The number of AIDS sufferers has dropped since 1994 following preventive measures initiated by the ministry and increasing public awareness of the dangers of the disease, the ministry said.
The Omani government halted the import of blood in 1991 and all foreign workers -- who account for around a third of the 2.3 million population -- are obliged, as in other Gulf Arab states, to undergo a series of medical tests for a wide range of diseases before they can obtain a residence visa.
"Expatriates testing HIV-positive are sent home immediately," Dr Ali Ahmad Ba Omar, head of the health ministry's anti-AIDS department, told the Gulf News -- MUSCAT (AFP)
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