Training on AIDS treatment [Archives:2007/1113/Local News]

December 20 2007

TAIZ, Dec. 16 ) Taiz governorate leaders, along with the area's Health and Population Office, have worked together to inaugurate the AIDS treatment center at Al-Thawrah Hospital. Two physicians also have been sent to Uganda for training on how to fight AIDS, declared Dr. Sa'eed Sifyan, coordinator of Yemen's national AIDS program.

He also noted that two units for testing volunteers and psychological factors were opened, one of which is the Yemeni Association to Fight AIDS, while the other is the headquarters of the Family Association.

Free testing will be conducted for volunteers to ensure that they are AIDS-free, highlighting that the program's most important activity is following up this year's reported cases.

Sifyan noted that 27 AIDS patients, including one foreigner, were admitted to treatment centers in Aden and Sana'a governorates. He further reviewed the cases and cumulative numbers reported regarding epidemic situations in Taiz, especially those related to AIDS and involving 455 cases or 22 percent of cases registered in Yemen up until 2007.

Registered cases in 1992 were 46 percent and 54 percent for Yemenis and foreigners respectively, with 155 individuals being infected with AIDS. Moreover, 300 cases or 47 percent involved infected females, while 51.5 percent were males and 2.5 percent children.

“The main reason for discovering these cases is the improvement of health workers and the extent of training them to fight the AIDS contagion. Most foreign cases are from the Horn of Africa and Saudi Arabia and most were youths, 94 percent of whom became infected as a result of illegal sexual relations. Thus, they became patients with sexually transmitted diseases. This day is dedicated to fighting AIDS, not its patients. If this slogan isn't applied, those infected may flee to other areas, while others may commit suicide,” Sifyan warned.

His remarks came during the UNDP-funded Dec. 1 World AIDS Day celebration under the slogan, “Leaders, fulfill your pledges and stop AIDS!” The activity was organized by the Taiz Health and Population Office in conjunction with Yemen's National Program to Fight AIDS.

Girls from Al-Hakimi School performed dramas and chants at the celebration, expressing the tragedies of AIDS, as well as how to fight and prevent it.

Additionally, Sifyan reviewed the activities of Yemen's National Program to Fight AIDS, which include an awareness campaign for more than 12,000 male and female youths in universities, schools and civil society organizations.

The program also conducted the first activity of its kind to educate citizens from Yemen's poorest segments about AIDS, with 700 male and female participants from four areas in Taiz governorate. UNICEF funded that activity.