CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update Saudi Arabia Reports More than 6,700 AIDS Patients
October 23, 2003
Associated Press (10.22.03) - Thursday, October 23, 2003
According to the Ministry of Health in the conservative
Islamic kingdom, Saudi Arabia has registered 6,787 cases of
AIDS. Mohammed al-Jifry, head of the Epidemic and Parasitic
Diseases Authority, said the cases include 1,509 Saudi
nationals. Of the patients, 77 percent are males ages 15-49.
Authorities registered at least 200 new cases last year, al-
Jifry reported. Ninety-five percent of the cases in Saudi
Arabia occurred through "forbidden sexual relations," al-Jifry
said. Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam
and has harsh penalties for adultery and fornication.