Saudi Arabia’s hidden world of HIV
HIV in Saudi Arabia has increased by 19 percent annually according to the Saudi Charity Association for AIDS Patients (File/AFP)
There is a marked increase in the number of HIV (AIDS) patients by 19 percent annually, according to Mosa Hiaza’a, director of the Saudi Charity Association for AIDS Patients.
“The association has registered 630 HIV patients this year which is a hundred percent increase over last year,” Hiaza’a said quoting the latest statistics issued by the association in June 2014. He added that most of the patients were men.
He said that 2,500 patients live with their families and are in touch with the association which provides them with services and a variety of emotional or educational programs.
“The Association monitors the patients and learns about their lifestyles, families’ conditions and provides emotional and economic support which helps them to integrate with the community,” Hiaza’a said.
In addition, the association organizes home visits in order to encourage them and make them feel part of society.
The association further contributes with financial support to help patients get married. It has succeeded in helping 130 HIV patients to get married in the last five years.
Th director said: “The number of healthy babies born to female AIDS patients reached 90 children.”
The women were registered with the Ministry of Health where they were put through some stringent medical tests. They were also given the necessary treatment to be able to have healthy babies free from AIDS, according to Hiaza’a.
The association is instrumental in helping patients to learn the value of patience and to adhere to Islamic principles through psychological rehabilitation programs.