MOH News
Saudi AIDS Incidence Went down by 9% in 2010 in Comparison with 2009
29 November 2011
   Dr. Ziad bin Ahmed Memish, Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventative Medicine, has declared that the number of HIV/AIDS cases detected went down in 2010 by 9% compared to 2009, and by 13% compared to 2008. A number of 1.121 new AIDS cases have been detected in 2010, out of which 439 cases are Saudis, and 682 cases are non-Saudis.
Dr. Memish made this announcement on the occasion of the Saudi Forum for “Uniting Arab Countries to Combat AIDS” organized by the Kingdom, under the auspices of His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, Minister of Health and Chief Executive Officer of the Arab Health Ministers' Council. The forum was opened on Monday, November 28, and continues for 5 days, with the participation of renowned experts and eminent national, regional and international figures, coming along from outstanding health institutions and Arab and international organizations, famous for AIDS-fighting
Dr. Memish explained that the cumulative number of all the AIDS cases, since the onset of 1984 until the close of 2010, is 16.334 cases, out of which 4.458 cases are Saudis, and 11.876 cases are non-Saudis, pointing out that non-Saudi AIDS patients are three times as Saudi patients.
The Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine added that the age group of 15-49 years of the Saudi AIDS cases detected in 2010 makes up 83% of the total number (362 out of 439 cases). The ratio of men to women, among the AIDS cases recorded in the course of 2010, was approximately 4 to 1. This ratio, Memish affirmed, is identical with the gender distribution of the disease in the Kingdom over the past years: the great bulk of AIDS patients are men.
Dr. Memish went on to say that the National Program for Combating AIDS has carried out the National Strategy for Awareness of the HIV/AIDS Effects, in cooperation with several governmental sectors, in addition to the private sector and the civil society institutions concerned. He further expounded that the Ministry has developed a number of programs and activities against AIDS, including epidemiological monitoring and surveillance, as well as preemptive detection of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.
Dr. Ziad bin Ahmed Memish added, launching the Program's voluntary testing centers throughout the Kingdom had the greatest influence on the detection of more potential AIDS cases, and the provision of healthcare for them, in addition to treating them with the latest and most advanced antiretroviral drugs. Such services are provided by an integrated medical team consisting of a highly qualified well trained staff.
At the end of his speech, Dr. Memish pointed out that there is an integrated team in both psychological and social fields working in eight specialized centers for voluntary testing. It provides its services to all visitors of these centers with confidentiality and efficiency. He emphasized that the decent treatment and full confidentiality may have contributed to reduce the stigma associated with the disease and to encourage patients to adhere to the demands of the testing and guidance service provided by these centers voluntarily.

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