First Center for AIDS Patients Inaugurated in Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam, SEPT. 3, 2001 ( The Catholic Church recently opened the first center for AIDS patients in Vietnam.

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Administered by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the center is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, in the Diocese of Phu Cuong. It takes in abandoned patients as well as the poor suffering from AIDS.

The facility has 48 beds, 12 of which are reserved for AIDS patients. Four nuns staff the center and work with 20 doctors from various hospitals.

Sister Tue Linh, who specialized in the care of AIDS patients for three years in France, oversees the administration of the center.

The Vietnamese province of the Daughters of Charity was founded in 1932. It has 480 professed nuns; 253 novices, postulants and candidates; and 53 houses.

Vietnam has 35,767 AIDS patients, according to official statistics. Of these, 7,000, including 3,000 children, are in Ho Chi Minh City.

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