(MENAFN - Arab News) The Maternity and Pediatrics Hospital in Makkah has launched an awareness campaign under the slogan "AIDS-free generation" to enlighten the public about AIDS, including means infection, symptoms and protective measures to be taken.
Dr. Ameera Al-Sharif, head of the infection control department, said the campaign was organized under the strategic framework adopted by the Ministry of Health to mark World AIDS Day and combat the disease.
Huda Felimban, head of the healthy marital center, delivered a presentation at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce, to explain to attendees the center's role and its programs.
The center, which was established in 2003, strives to make the Kingdom a model for premarital medical check-ups through a number of accredited medical centers, consulting clinics and labs Kingdom-wide.
The campaign involves a series of lectures and symposiums designed for medical cadres, teachers and educationists.
Based on the Ministry of Health's statistics for the year 2012, 70 percent of AIDS-infected individuals in the Kingdom are in the age group of 15-45 years.
Earlier in the month, an AIDS expert said around 70 HIV cases are discovered in the Kingdom every year during premarital medical check-ups.
Dr. Mohamed Al-Hazmi, an AIDS consultant at King Fahad Hospital in Jazan, said about 97 percent of female AIDS patients in the Kingdom contract the disease during marriage.
He added that Jeddah ranks the highest in the Kingdom in terms of AIDS patients.
Dr. Ahmed Banjar, deputy director general of Health Affairs in Makkah, asserted that awareness programs are the most successful initiatives because they provide the public with comprehensive information on various diseases. He pointed out that the number of HIV-infected patients has decreased this year in comparison to previous years.