New AIDS cases in Yemen & Saudi [Archives:2005/899/Local News]

December 1 2005

SANA'A, Nov. 27)One hundred and twenty one new cases of AIDS were registered by Ministry of Health in the past six months, the UPI news agency reported.

The president of the National Program for Combating AIDS, Fawziya Gharama, said that 48% of the registered cases were at an advanced stage of the disease. She said the largest number of cases was found in Sanaa, followed by Taiz and Aden.

Taha Abdullah Hajer, head of the Yemeni Association for the Prevention of AIDS and governor of Omran province, estimated that there are around 20,000 AIDS cases in Yemen. He added that only 2,000 cases are officially registered at the Ministry of Health. Most of the cases were discovered by coincidence through regular blood tests and blood donations.

Hajer noted that each discovered case has the potential of transmitting the HIV virus to a range between 37 and 100 people, according to the World Health Organization. “This would lead to the increase of AIDS cases in Yemen beyond projections and expectations,” he warned.