People with HIV launch anti-stigma campaign

Updated 07 March 2015

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 witnessing a big renaissance in tourism, says KSA heritage chief

SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman highlights the important role of tourism in cross-cultural communication and the convergence of people and nations. (SPA)
Updated 19 April 2018

Saudi Arabia witnessing a big renaissance in tourism, says KSA heritage chief

  • The commission has submitted a strategy for the development of national tourism in KSA
  • It is impossible to separate tourism from culture and heritage: Prince Sultan

JEDDAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), has confirmed that Saudi Arabia is witnessing a significant renaissance in tourism with the support of King Salman, who directed attention to be paid to this vital sector.

In his address at the 8th Session of Tourism Ministers of the Group 20, which opened in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the prince said the commission has submitted a strategy for the development of national tourism, approved by the state in 2005, to be one of the most important engines of the economy in the national transformation program and adopted as a central element, along with heritage and culture, in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

He pointed out that the Kingdom has announced through several government institutions investments amounting to nearly half a trillion US dollars in large projects characterized by tourism in a number of regions.

Prince Sultan noted the importance of inviting ministers of culture and heritage officials to participate in the meetings of tourism ministers from the G-20 countries, from the next session in Japan which will be followed by one in the Kingdom.

He added: “By examining offers and plans presented by the G-20 countries, we have noticed that it is impossible to separate tourism from culture and heritage.

“Not only is tourism an economic engine, it also plays an important role in cross-cultural communication and the convergence of people and nations.”

Prince Sultan highlighted the fact that the SCTH and the tourism sector have received considerable support from the government in the past two years in terms of regulations, laws, and project funding.

“The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is now playing a major role in establishing tourism projects,” he said, emphasizing that the SCTH has partnered with the PIF to launch several tourist destinations and tourism companies.

He added: “For us, tourism isn’t a sector but an industry. We, alongside our partners, have managed to establish and enhance 33 regional and specialized museums in which we employ many Saudi men and women who have graduated from universities abroad and can speak multiple languages.”

On the sidelines of the session, Prince Sultan signed an agreement with Argentine Minister of Tourism Gustavo Santos to enhance cooperation in tourism and heritage. The prince said the commission is working on benefiting from advanced and rich experiences in different countries of the world.

Our international agreements are an important source for developing our business, he said, as they contribute to the exchange of expertise.