Saddam feared catching Aids from US guards

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The former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein feared catching Aids or some other venereal disease during his US-supervised captivity, according to excerpts from his prison writings, published in a leading Arab newspaper yesterday.

The London-based daily Al-Hayat said its correspondent had obtained the material from the US authorities, and the US military confirmed that pages of Saddam's writings have been released.

They describe how, when Saddam found US guards were also using his laundry line to dry clothes, he demanded that they stop.

"I explained to them that they are young and they could have young people's diseases," Saddam wrote. "My main concern was to not catch a venereal disease, an HIV disease, in this place." He said some of the soldiers ignored his request.

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