Yemen Times Examines HIV/AIDS Surveillance, Discrimination Related to Disease in Country
August 13, 2008
Although Yemen -- which has recorded 2,431 HIV/AIDS cases -- is considered one of the countries with the lowest number of people living with the disease worldwide, some organizations, including the country's National AIDS Control Program, say that the numbers likely do not accurately reflect the true number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country, the Yemen Times reports. According to the Times, unreported cases and lack of surveillance could explain the low number of cases in the country.
Misconceptions and a lack of information about HIV/AIDS -- particularly among those living in rural areas, about three-fourths of Yemen's population -- are a significant reason for the discrimination against HIV-positive people, according to a Ministry of Public Health and Population report. Misconceptions included the belief that HIV can be transmitted through shaking hands, hugging and mosquito bites, as well as sharing drinking glasses and plates. Discrimination also has been reported in hospitals, with some hospitals refusing to treat HIV/AIDS patients altogether.
The Times also profiled Khalid Mahyoob -- a former nurse at Aden's Al-Jumhury Hospital who contracted HIV from an HIV-positive patient -- and his recently established association, called Life Impulse, which works to correct misconceptions about HIV/AIDS and fight discrimination (Ishaq, Yemen Times, 8/11).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.