Minister: 272 Cases of AIDS in Jordan since 1986
Jordan’s Minister of Health Faleh Nasser said Thursday that 272 people, including 118 Jordanians, have contracted the AIDS virus in Jordan since 1986.
"Most cases were due to imported contaminated blood containing the virus," said Nasser, quoted by the official Petra news agency.
"Jordan is considered one of the countries least affected by the AIDS virus," the minister added.
He set up a "hot-line" Thursday from the health ministry aimed at "giving advice" to young people on ways to avoid Aids and also for "consultations" for those carrying the HIV virus and their families, Petra said.
The first case of AIDS in Jordan was discovered in 1986. By 1998, a total of 174 AIDS cases had been registered, according officials quoted in a report by Jordan Times then.
Men accounted for 136 cases and women for 38.
Doctors told the paper that Jordan's AIDS pattern had also changed over the previous years despite strict social adherence to religious teachings that ban pre-marital sex as well as homosexuality.
"Unlike in the past, when the HIV virus in Jordan was mainly transmitted through blood transfusions, patients are now acquiring it through drug use as well as homosexual and heterosexual activities," a doctor was quoted as saying.
"Prostitution, casual sex, and sexual intercourse with multiple partners are all means by which AIDS is being transmitted now," he added.
"Like everywhere else in the world, we have an open gay community here," Dr. Sarhan explained.
According to the expert, most of the AIDS patients he had treated had had multi-faceted experiences. "They have had multiple sexual experiences, have practiced homosexuality, and are drug addicts."
Although the AIDS curve had been steady for the last ten years, drug addiction, made possible by rapid social changes and greater openness, was causing the AIDS rate to "shoot up." – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)