363 Kuwaitis infected with HIV: Health ministry
There are a total 363 Kuwait nationals who are HIV positive and are currently living in the country while receiving antiviral therapy, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
The ministry is set to launch a clinic which will provide diagnosis carried out discretely for anyone living in Kuwait, an official told a press conference to announce the launch of a national anti-HIV/AIDS campaign.
The campaign’s strategy includes several major goals, its head and the ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for General Health Majda Al-Qattan said.
These include facilitating access to healthcare for HIV positive patients, reaching a 50 percent decrease of cases come 2021 while limiting the numbers of infected children to zero, preventing discrimination against infected people and improving HIV positive case indices and databases.
Kuwait has taken massive strides forward in HIV/AIDS treatment, added Al-Qattan, and is regarded one of the most advanced in the field in the Middle East and North Africa region according to the July report of UNAIDS, the United Nations agency tasked with HIV/AIDS.
In its own report, the national campaign found that 81 percent of HIV positive patients are aware of their infection, including 80 percent currently receiving antiretroviral drugs and 90 percent carrying an Undetectable HIV viral load – which means they cannot pass the virus through unprotected sex.
Kuwait aims to raise all of these numbers to 90 percent respectively by 2021 in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, said the campaign’s rapporteur and World Health Organisation Desk Officer for Kuwait Munther Al-Hasawi.
If this is achieved Al-Hasawi expects the virus to be completely abolished in Kuwait by 2030.