Saudi Gazette – The Health Affairs reported 21 single men and women were diagnosed with HIV during premarital medical examinations here recently, Al-Watan reported.

Jazan Health Affairs Dr. Ahmad Al-Sahly, however, said the Kingdom is among the least infected countries in the world.

“The total number of AIDs patients in the world reached 76 million and half of them had died as a result of the disease. Considering the severity of the problem, the Ministry of Health has put in place an AIDs diagnosis training program for health practitioners,” said Al-Sahly.

He said there are trained health practitioners in all areas and cities of the Kingdom.

“About 300 health practitioners were trained this year alone. The ministry is also active in organizing events and holding workshops to educate the general public of the disease. On Monday, Jazan Health Directorate held an event to raise awareness during the World AIDS Day,” said Al-Sahly.

He said the event was held Kadi Mall in cooperation with several hospitals. “Volunteers from Prince Mohammad Bin Nasser Hospital, Jazan Public Hospital, Al-Houbah Hospital, Sibya Clinic, Abu Uraish Clinic, Mental Health Hospital, Ihsan Medical Charity, a dentistry center and other hospitals and health institutes were present during the event to educate the general public of AIDS and several other health issues,” said Al-Sahly. He said the event had several booths of several medical services and organizations.

“There was also an entertainment program with contests and plays. The event was targeting the young and the old. All layers of society should be knowledgeable about the disease and should know who to go to if they suspect they may be infected,” said Al-Sahly.

He added the health directorate also runs medical examinations for engaged couples.

“The couples have the right to know the medical reports of their future spouses. The directorate has no authority to prohibit any couple from getting married if they wish to do so despite health or genetic risks,” said Al-Sahly.

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