MOH News
MOH: ‘1,191 New AIDS Cases in the Kingdom during 2015’
30 November 2016
The Ministry of Health (MOH) stated that the cumulative number of all detected AIDS cases since the beginning of 1984 and up to the end of 2015 amounted to 22,952 cases, of which 6,770 cases were Saudis and 16,182 were non-Saudis. “In 2015, 1,191 new AIDS cases were detected, of which 436 were Saudis and 755 non-Saudis, noting that that there is a notable decline in the detected cases of AIDS among Saudis,” said the Ministry.
 
It went on adding that the Kingdom has carried out many successful achievements, in terms of providing preventive and therapeutic services in high quality, especially in the areas of medical surveys, early detection of cases, start of treatment, as well as providing the mental and rehabilitative care for patients and their families. This has been achieved by means of expanding in the specialized therapeutic centers, which amounted to 11 therapeutic centers in each of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Taif, Asir, Jazan, Dammam, and Madinah. Besides, the counseling, screening and mental health services have been expanded through their integration into primary healthcare, given that the healthcare centers that provide these services exceeded 150 centers in the Kingdom.
 
The MOH highlighted that some plans have been the implemented in the field of anti-stigma in particular. These plans comprised some programs and activities, including the development of many studies and researches to determine the extent of the phenomenon, its relevant negative factors, and the appropriate ways of its treatment. The Ministry is also working on the expansion of preventive and therapeutic services for HIV, providing them with quality and high efficiency, and facilitating the accessibility to such services in confidentiality and privacy, in such a manner that maintains the dignity of citizens and meets their satisfaction. It is also working on building capacities and competencies among health professionals, promoting the level of awareness and perception of the best way to provide services, meanwhile taking into account the social and psychological condition of patients and their families. Moreover, the Ministry is working on the implementation of programs and activities for patients and those groups who are at high risk of the disease; in order to reduce the sense of stigma and raise the level of their interest by using the available services, as well as working on intensifying the interest in the system of reporting and following up the stigma- related violations, in addition to following up the required treatment through specific regulations and laws that ensure the preservation of patients’ rights.
 
On the occasion of the World AIDS Day, which is observed every year on December 1st and considered a national and international event meant to tackle factors influencing the spread of the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), has decided to focus this year on the issues of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, in terms of the negative perception towards AIDS patients, those groups who are at high risk for the disease, and those people in contacts with AIDS patients, in addition to the erosion of their rights related to work, education, treatment, marriage, and other social rights. The stigma and discrimination lead to poor use of preventive and therapeutic services for HIV infection by people living with the disease and those groups who are at high risk for the disease; the matter which negatively affects the HIV/AIDS control and prevention programs and the achievement of the UN objectives to eradicate this infection.
 
In line with the UN’s efforts, the WHO is implementing the events of the World AIDS Day 2016 under the theme: “Dignity above all”. These events are targeting all members of society in general, and all workers in the field of providing health services associated with the disease and those people living with HIV in particular; in order to eliminate stigma and discrimination faced by AIDS patients and their families and those groups who are at risk of the disease; in an endeavor to come up with the disease elimination stage within the framework of the implementation of the National Strategy to Combat AIDS in the Kingdom.
 
Over and above, the MOH is spreading awareness messages across different mass media and social media, including many activities to raise awareness, increase knowledge, and modify wrong behaviors, targeting all members of society in general and the high-risk groups in particular. These efforts will, in turn, contribute to raising awareness about the disease in general, Allah Willing, focusing on stigma and discrimination issues, meanwhile educating AIDS patients on how to positively live with the disease.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 



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