Muscat: Up to 2017, around 1,323 people died of HIV/AIDS in the Sultanate. The ministry of Health said the first case was diagnosed in 1984 and since that time the number of HIV/AIDS cases reached 2,920 in 2017 of whom 1,597 are living with the disease.
This was revealed by Dr Saif al Abri, Director General of Diseases Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health.
He added that the Sultanate constantly seeks to expand HIV/AIDS-related health care services in order to achieve the goals of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) by 2020 and the “90-90-90” targets for HIV diagnosis, treatment and viral suppression which means by 2020, 90 per cent of people who are HIV infected will be diagnosed, 90 per cent of people who are diagnosed will be on antiretroviral treatment and 90 per cent of those who receive antiretrovirals will be virally suppressed.
In the years 2010 and 2017, the late diagnosis showed that 43 per cent of HIV-positive people have developed Aids which is considered a high percentage.
However, the situation has improved following the launch of guidelines for fighting HIV/AIDS in 2015 together with the primary health care guide for Aids in 2019 which constituted a crucial step forward to combine all HIV/AIDS-related health care services in the primary health services in both the public and the private sector, the official said.
Text by Ohood al Jailaniyah