Over 1,200 people affected by AIDS in Morocco
Morocco, Health, 12/26/2003
The number of Moroccans affected by the AIDs Virus has reached 1,295, according to official figures released Thursday.
These figures concern the period between 1986 and 2003, Moroccan health minister, Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah has revealed, adding that the number of HIV-positive individuals ranges from 13,000 to 16,000 cases.
Speaking at the question-time of the House of Representatives (lower parliamentary chamber), the minister underlined that in 80 percent of these cases, the virus was transmitted through sexual intercourse. He explained that these figures are the totality of cases reported by doctors.
Biadillah added that a control system was set up in 24 sites in the country to assess the number of people infected by the virus part of the anti-AIDS/HIV national strategy.
Morocco is the only country in North Africa and the Middle East that established this control system in such a number of sites, noted the minister. He said 17 HIV testing centers exist in different cities in the kingdom, underscoring that additional centers will be created in other regions.
On prevention against AIDS/HIV, the minister recalled the awareness campaigns conducted in collaboration with governmental departments and NGO and that profited to a large category, especially the youth.
He said a budget of 5.5 million Dhs (US $550 thousand) was allocated to the anti-AIDS/HIV project in 2003 and another budget of 2.6 million Dhs (US $260 thousand) to provide people infected by the disease with drugs.
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