3 Specialized Units to Be Set Up to Combat AIDS

RIYADH – In a move to combat acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), the Ministry of Health has announced plans to establish three specialized facilities in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

The facilities will study, evaluate and treat patients with AIDS. An AIDS treatment center at the Riyadh Medical Complex has already opened with necessary facilities, according to a ministry report released by Dr. Tarek Medani, adviser to the minister.

“The move to open special AIDS diagnostic and treatment facilities in the Kingdom is primarily intended to check the epidemic, focusing on the fight against the disease, said Dr. Medani. He said the ministry had recently allocated SR20 million for medication for AIDS patients.

Referring to expatriates suffering from AIDS, he said, “There are clear guidelines about the treatment of foreigners. First, they will be treated in the Kingdom until they are in a stable condition and then they will be deported to their home countries.

The number of Saudis suffering from AIDS exceeds 1,350, according to the report. This is in addition to an ever-growing number of affected expatriates.

“The ministry has a public program to register all AIDS patients. The aim is to check the spread of the disease and to study growing trends,” the ministry’s report said.

In cooperation with other government agencies and private organizations, the ministry has sponsored many awareness programs designed to educate the public about AIDS. The incidence of AIDS in the Kingdom is much lower and more effectively controlled than in many other countries.

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