MOH News
On the World AIDS Day, an MOH Specialized Team to Answer Callers' Inquiries
28 November 2012
   Under the theme of “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related death”, the World AIDS Day is to kick off on December 1st; with the goal of urging people all over the world to raise the awareness of AIDS epidemic and its infection, and working on encouraging the international cooperation to fight back this epidemic. This comes when the data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008 underlines that 33.3 million people are infected with AIDS, and the same year witnessed the injury of over 2, 6 million new cases, and 1, 8 million death cases because of it.
 
As part of the MOH's activities in this regard, the MOH Media Information and Health Awareness Center prepared a team of specialists to answer the callers' questions on AIDS and other diseases via the free-toll No. 8002494444, or send their questions to the MOH's account on Twitter @saudimoh.
 
In the meantime, the MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center pointed out that the AIDS symptoms include high temperature along with excessive night sweat lasting for several weeks, enlargement of lymph nodes especially those located in the neck, armpit, and thigh fold, dry cough lasting for several weeks, and diarrhea lasting for weeks; this is all without knowing their causes. Sometimes, these symptoms are associated with general illness of health, feeling of exhaustion, and weight loss.
 
As for the AIDS prevention, the Center pointed out that the prevention starts through avoiding the causes of injury, and it is the only way to avoid the injury. As such, these ways include not practicing sex before marriage, avoiding illegal sexual affairs outside the frame of conjugal relationships. In addition, it is important to avoid the homosexual affairs, use a condom if either couple is injured with AIDS, and not to use the used injections, piercing tools, and razors. Furthermore, it is important to avoid doing drugs, strengthen the religious disposition, keep away from adultery alluring, and accompany the good people that help you do the good deeds and keep you away from doing the evil deeds.
 
It is worthwhile to point out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is among the states with the low AIDS incidence compared to the world's states (2 cases per 10,000 persons). Thus, the MOH's National Program for Combating AIDS follows up the injured cases, and work on intensifying efforts with regard to preparing curative, health-awareness, and guiding programs, with the goal of controlling and checking the spread of the disease. This is through several programs being carried out such as AIDS Injury Detection and Early Treatment Program in the specialized centers, Sexually-Transmitted Infection Treatment Program in the primary health centers and hospitals, Health Awareness Program for Aids Combating, in addition to following up those contacting with an AIDS-injured patient to make sure of not getting infected. Further, it introduced fixed and mobile consulting and voluntary inspection clinics, expanded with regard to surveys and newly-emerged infection detection programs, conducted epidemiological researches related to HIV/AIDS transmission among the most vulnerable groups, prepared HIV/AIDS Infection Transmission from Mother to Fetus Prevention Program, as well as preventing HIV/AIDS injury among healthy groups through the virus-contaminated puncture.
 
On the other, these programs brought about a change with regard to the statistical proportions during the last two years. Thus, 1195 new AIDS-injured cases were discovered in 2011; of which there are 459 Saudis and 736 non-Saudis. In addition, it has been observed that the discovered cases among Saudis for this year increased by 4, 5%, compared to the 2010 discovered cases, and it is less than 2009 by 4, 7%. This is as a result of intensifying the efforts to discover the AIDS-injured cases early, and record them in prevention and treatment programs.
 
Moreover, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has prepared specialized centers in order to assist, follow up, and fully take care of the AIDS-injured patients. These centers are the treatment center at Jeddah King Saud Hospital, treatment center at Riyadh King Saud Medical City, treatment center at Dammam Medical Complex, treatment center at Madinah King Fahad Hospital, treatment center at Al-Hofuf King Fahad Hopsital, treatment center at Asir Central Hospital, and treatment center at Jazan Sabia General Hospital. In addition, currently, in the Holy Capital (Makkah), are being established. 
 
Within the same vein, the National Program for Combating AIDS has set several plans, programs, studies, and researches in order to trace the AIDS path in the community, and set the strategic plans for epidemiological surveillance, which ensure the speed of discovering the AIDS-injured cases early. This is in order to limit the infection transmission to the partner, whether a husband or a wife. Thus, these plans include setting up epidemiological surveillance, medical treatment, and health care system, as well as epidemiological registration and detection at the treatment centers. Further, it is to work on expanding the survey programs and linking them to the health centers and hospitals, in addition to expanding the non-governmental sector participation through supporting the health awareness programs. And it is to set up voluntary associations in some of the Kingdom's cities such as Jazan and Eastern Province, like the AIDS association in the Western Province and Riyadh. Also, it is to raise the efficiency and potentialities of the cadres working in the AIDS field, in addition to expanding with regard to conducting researches, behavioral and epidemiological studies, as they are the cornerstone in terms of gathering information on the disease.
 



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