People with HIV launch anti-stigma campaign

Updated 07 March 2015
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People with HIV launch anti-stigma campaign

Several people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have launched a campaign to counter the stigma around the illness still prevalent in parts of the Kingdom.
They want the public to treat those infected with HIV just as they would people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure, according to a recent report in a local publication.
Mohammad Mannsi, who has HIV, has set up an account on a social networking site to create awareness about the disease. Over the past four years he has been working with fellow HIV sufferers, doctors and other members of the public.
Mannsi has been helping those infected by providing support and advice, which include urging them to take life-saving medication as prescribed by their doctors, and to undergo regular checkups.
Mannsi said that people living with the illness are more confident about participating in community activities. However, there was still a great deal of fear-mongering taking place, with some people trying to create the impression that Islam forbids discussions on the illness.
He said people living with HIV have the right to get treatment, support and advice from doctors and other health professionals.
Batoul Suleiman, a doctor who specializes in HIV treatment, said even some doctors discriminate against those living with the virus. Some refuse to provide any sort of treatment for those who disclose they are infected.
According to the Ministry of Health, there were 1,777 people identified with AIDS in the country last year, of whom 542 were Saudis.
There has been an increase in cases, which would eventually affect the country’s economic growth, the ministry said.


Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief takes former Yemeni child soldiers on fun excursion

Updated 22 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief takes former Yemeni child soldiers on fun excursion

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid And Relief Center (KSRelief) on Sunday carried out a recreational trip for 27 children to the Marib General Park.
The director of the project to rehabilitate children affected by the Yemeni conflict, Abdulrahman Al-Qubati, said that the visit hopes to “rehabilitate the children psychologically and socially.”
Al-Qubati added that the trip is the first phase of the seventh and eighth launched by the center helping 80 affected child soldiers.
He stressed that children are living in a different atmosphere, from being deprived of fun during their recruitment by the Houthi rebels, and such trips are working to enhance their childhood as a remedial step to get rid oftrauma they suffered due to acting as human shields in armed conflict.
KSRelief said it was working to rehabilitate 241 children who had been recruited and affected by the rehabilitation project for child soldiers.