AIDS’ World Day observed [Archives:2005/900/Front Page]

December 5 2005

SANA'A, Dec. 4)On the occasion of the International AIDS Day – 3rd December, the UN Information Center in cooperation UNICEF organized a symposium on AIDS last Saturday in Sana'a. Under the title 'Unite against AIDS, We are all responsible' the symposium aimed to promote awareness concerning this disease. Dr. Fozia Ahmed Gharama, General Manager of AIDS Combating Program stated that the total number of registered AIDS cases reached 1769 up to September 2005. Some of these cases were discovered by chance.

She added that Yemen is considered of the countries with the least number of reported AIDS cases; however the World Health Organization estimations indicate that the cases will reach 11227 by end of next year. There is increased concern regarding the spread of the virus because of the illegal influx of refugees coming from the African Horn. Apparently, sixty percent of the reported AIDS patients had come originally from these countries. Reasons attributed to the lack of compliance with precautionary measures at the refugee camps. Estimations reveal that there are about 14 thousand refugees infiltrate illegally into Yemen.

The statement of the UN Information Center on this occasion conveyed that the world has achieved progress in fighting AIDS. It said that an $ 8 billion fund is now available for combating AIDS in developing countries. This used to be only $ 300 million a decade ago. World leaders are exerting efforts to combat aids in 40 countries, according to their message last September in the World Summit to fully carry out their 2001 pledge towards the HIV virus. This will include providing life saving medicines, treatment and precautionary measures for all without exceptions.

These efforts are dedicated to covering all areas where the disease is spread to stop it from spreading further. The goal is to have an AIDS free environment by 2015 in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

On the same context, the Family Protection Society Taiz branch, had organized a similar symposium on the 29th of last month. It was titled 'Fighting discrimination against AIDS patients'. Dr. Saeed Sofian Alhamedi, coordinator of the National Program for Combating of AIDS and other sexually transferred diseases, presented a detailed report on the AIDS patients' rights. He confirmed the government's interest in creating partnership with the civil society organizations to fight AIDS. Dr. Abdulhameed Altieb from the Guidance office in Taiz reviewed Islam's perspective on AIDS patients and those of other sexually transferred diseases. He said that Islam had established methods for protection by prohibiting forbidden sexual relations. He called for fighting AIDS through peaceful means.

Colonel Abdurrahman Shamsan, deputy commander for planning, information and research in the Ministry of Interior, talked the relation of security men with the AIDS patients. He also talked about the role of the Interior Ministry in provision of safety and health security especially for refugees.

Dr. Nasser Alkabab general manager of the Health Office in Taiz, spoke of the importance of such symposiums in fighting AIDS publicly and officially.