Laos' Anti-HIV/AIDS Center reports that since 2003, more and more patients have come forward to receive treatment and request anti-HIV/AIDS pills, especially in the province of Savannakhet and the capital city of Vientiane.
The Center says in the period between September 2003 to May 2008, more than 1170 patients have received treatment and given pills in Savannakhet, while some 490 have been admitted at the Setthathirath Hospital in Vientiane. Of that number, about 341 are given anti-HIV/AIDS pills.
However, health officials say the fact that there are more patients receiving treatment does not necessarily mean there is an increasing number of HIV infected people, because most of the cases are old patients who have overcome the embarrassing feeling and the stigma of being identified as having HIV/AIDS, and come forward for treatment.
Officials maintain that an effective campaign by the Center has contributed to a better understanding by patients that it is for their own benefits and the society's that they reveal themselves and request treatment.
Officials also say they plan to open two new centers in Luang Prabang to treat patients in the northern part of the country, and another one in Champassack for the South.
Listen to Songrit's report for details in Lao.