Stigma horror: 7 with HIV ‘sacked unfairly’

Updated 10 June 2015
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Stigma horror: 7 with HIV ‘sacked unfairly’

RIYADH: Seven people who have tested positive for HIV have been fired unfairly from their jobs at private companies, a local charity announced on Tuesday.
Abdullah Al-Huqail, deputy board chairman of the Charitable Society for the Care of AIDS Patients (Mana’a) in Riyadh and head of the infectious diseases department at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, said that he had assured them they could get their jobs back, but they refused to return because of the stigma attached to having the virus, the report in a local daily stated.
Al-Huqail said that the charity had recently assisted a primary school student who had AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The child had contracted the virus from his mother at birth. The charity’s officials had then gone to the school to explain his predicament, and asked the administration to keep his condition a secret until he could complete his education. Al-Huqail said that while cases worldwide had dropped by
23 percent, there was a 13 percent rise in the Kingdom. Briefing volunteers seeking to helping people with AIDS, he said that those living with the virus can live productive lives with proper treatment and support.
Al-Huqail said that people must distinguish between those afflicted with HIV and others with full-blown AIDS.
Those living with HIV can take drugs that would control the virus, while those at an advanced stage of AIDS often do not respond to treatment, he said.


Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. SPA
Updated 11 min 20 sec ago
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Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

  • The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers
  • China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has expressed his appreciation to scholars who took part in the International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan in Makkah, saying the Kingdom was making efforts to “heal the divisions and differences among the Afghan people.”

Chairing the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday, the king said Saudi Arabia was working toward “unifying the ranks and words of Muslims worldwide.”
He briefed the Cabinet on the results of his recent talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa, on future cooperation between the two countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the final statement by the Makkah conference calling on states, organizations and Islamic elites to play positive roles in achieving security and peace in Afghanistan.
The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers, extinguishing the fire of sedition.”
Muslims worldwide should continue their “firm stand in front of the advocates of violence and extremism in defense of their religion and maintaining the unity of the Islamic world,” it said.
The Cabinet also reviewed a ministerial meeting of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum in Beijing and welcomed a decision by Chinese leader President Xi Jinping to establish an Arab-Chinese strategic partnership.
China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries and “add to the prosperity and economic advancement of all,” it said.
The Cabinet denounced recent suicide attacks on two election gatherings in Pakistan and the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and offered condolences to families of the victims.
In the local arena, the Cabinet extended its appreciation to the king, based on a report by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for pardoning all troops who have taken part in the Saudi Renewal of Hope operation in Yemen of their military and disciplinary penalties for their heroism and sacrifices.
The Cabinet approved a license for the Iraqi Commercial Bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia and authorized the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent requests to open other branches.