AIDS Patients Shifted to East Jeddah Hospital

2015-0321 AIDS Patients Shifted to East Jeddah Hospital

In this undated file photo shows, an awareness program against AIDS hosted by Ministry of Health. (SPA)

More than 3,000 AIDS patients have been transferred from King Saud Hospital to East Jeddah Hospital after the Ministry of Health decided to close the hospital’s medical services.

King Saud Hospital was working with a capacity of 85 beds, containing the second largest department of intensive care in Jeddah. However, a special committee’s report, which was formed by the Ministry of Health to evaluate King Saud Hospital’s services, led to its closure.

“King Saud Hospital in Jeddah offers limited medical service to AIDS patients who suffer from inadequate services of all kinds, with low occupancy rate,” the committee’s report read.

“The current global trend aims to integrate AIDS patients with the community and treat them equally with other patients in terms of the provision of available medical services for them, without the need to isolate them,” the report stated.

Ahmed Faden, assistant director of health affairs, told local media that the safety of patients is their top priority. The Ministry of Health claimed on Thursday that is has conducted a study to look into several options to better serve HIV patients, and decided that there is a need to transfer all the patients to East Jeddah Hospital.

The number of AIDS cases in the Kingdom is estimated at 20,539 since the beginning of 1984, until the end of 2013, according to the ministry. The majority of the cases in the Kingdom comprised non-Saudis, with 14,649 foreigners. There are 5,890 HIV positive Saudis.

The ministry noted that there was an increase of 26 percent in the number of HIV cases among Saudis in 2012 compared to 18 percent in 2011. Around 1,777 new HIV cases were registered in 2013, including 542 Saudis and 1,235 non-Saudis. Among the 524 Saudis, 79 percent were between the ages of 15 and 49 whereas the ratio of men to women was 5 to 1.


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