A dedicated team of educators has greatly helped the Mekong delta province of Soc Trang to combat HIV/AIDS efficiently.

The team, shaped by the provincial Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, has reached out to 340,000 local people with necessary information about the virus and its deadly effects.

They have given counseling on STD and preventive measures to 12,423 drug addicts, prostitutes, and those working at bars and karaoke parlours, in addition to 600 people belonging to the MSM (men having sex with men) category.

In 2013, the locality diagnosed 154 new cases, bringing the total number of living HIV carriers to 1,838. It reported 1,390 deaths of AIDS.

Doctor Nguyen The Khai, Director of the provincial Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, said during last year his centre organised a lot of communications campaigns to change local people’s attitude towards HIV and the deadly AIDS disease.

However, the centre is facing many difficulties in maintaining its effective operations due to a sizeable cut in budget and international funds, Khai said.-VNA