Hundreds in Chile not told of positive HIV tests

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile is scrambling to reach people who could be suffering from AIDS and spreading the disease.

Authorities say public health services failed to tell 512 people that they tested positive for HIV. Private-sector health services also fell down, failing to inform an estimated 1,700 people that tests show them carrying the AIDS virus.

Health Minister Alvaro Erazo gave the numbers to congress Thursday after the scandal forced his predecessor to resign.

Chile's public health service says some patients gave the wrong address, but in about half the cases, there is no evidence anyone tried to reach them.

Now Chile is launching an intense campaign to locate the patients and inform them confidentially of their condition.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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