KUWAIT: The health ministry’s assistant undersecretary for general health and the head of the national committee to fight AIDS Dr Majeda Al-Qattan said the number of people checking with the experimental AIDS clinic to be tested for HIV and seek advice is growing. Qattan said the clinic’s policy is that on detecting an HIV positive case, and if their spouse gives consent, they are both subjected to totally confidential tests that respect their privacy and the needed treatment is provided to them.

“The rise in tests reflects the public’s growing awareness, the accuracy of the tests conducted and the availability of effective treatment in Kuwait,” Qattan underlined. She said according to recent WHO statistics, most newly-detected HIV cases in the MENA region were diagnosed through voluntary tests, which helps change patients’ conduct and attitudes positively. Qattan added that the committee’s services will soon be expanded to focus on the most vulnerable people such as drug addicts using syringes, to protect them and the entire society from both HIV and hepatitis.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi