On World AIDS Day, Syria is still among the countries with low HIV prevalence

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Marking World AIDS Day, the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday that the number of registered AIDS cases in Syria since 1987 until today has reached 1013, 248 of them continue to get free treatment in the ministry's specialized centers.

According to Director of the Health Ministry's National Program for Combating AIDS, Dr. Jamal Khamis, said that 347 of those infected with HIV in the country are non Syrians while the other 666 are Syrians. He affirmed the implementation of a national strategy to enhance prevention against this disease, protect and reduce infection and follow up the condition of the patients living with HIV through providing them with necessary medical services, psychological support and free treatment.

 

Syria is classified among the countries with low prevalence of Human immune-deficiency virus (HIV) infection due to the health measures adopted by the ministry to disseminate health education and consultation and to provide free health care for patients through specialized health centers in all Syrian provinces, according to Dr. Hazar Faroun, Director of the ministry's Communicable and chronic diseases department.

On World AIDS Day, the Syrian Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO), Deputy Minister of the Health Ahmad Khlifawi stressed the ministry's efforts to improve the lifestyle of people living with the disease, put an end to the HIV-related stigma and discrimination in healthcare facilities and provide psychological and social support for patients.

He affirmed that raising awareness about AIDS and its danger is the basic way for protection from the disease, particularly amid the absence of a cure from the disease or a vaccination against it.

On his part, head of the Physicians Syndicate Yousef As'ad said that the clinics of pre-marital medical tests play important role in discovering communicable diseases including AIDS.

Hamda Mustafa

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