1,777 new HIV cases detected in 2013
Al-Aumi said the number of Saudi HIV carriers in 2013 increased by 26 percent over their number in 2012 and by 18 percent over 2011
RIYADH – A total of 1,777 new HIV cases were discovered in the Kingdom in 2013, according to a high-ranking medical official.
"The new figures consisted of 542 Saudis and 1,235 expatriates," said Dr. Mohammed Al-Aumi, director of the Prince Salman Center for Kidney Diseases.
Talking at the launch of an awareness campaign the center has launched to mark World Aids Day 2014, Al-Aumi told Al-Hayat newspaper there were 2.1 million new HIV cases discovered worldwide by the end of 2013, according to figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“There are 35 million AIDS patients in the world still alive by the end of that year,” he added.
He said since the disease was first discovered in the Kingdom in 1984, the accumulated number of AIDS patients until the end of 2013 reached 20,539 people consisting of 5,890 Saudis and 14,649 expatriates.
Al-Aumi said the number of Saudi HIV carriers in 2013 increased by 26 percent over their number in 2012 and by 18 percent over 2011.
“The ratio of male Saudi HIV patients to female patients was five to one,” he added.
The director said those in the 15-49 age group accounted for about 79 percent of the 542 Saudi HIV patients discovered in 2013.
He said 510 patients (94 percent) contracted the disease through sexual relationships.
“The second highest cause was drug abuse, which led to 16 patients (3 percent) contracting the disease,” he added.
Al-Aumi said awareness about the fatal disease and its prevention were the main factors that could curb the spread of the disease, which is said to have helped deplete the resources of poor countries especially in Africa and Southeast Asia.
This story was originally posted on the Saudi Gazette on Jan. 5, 2015.