Muscat: AIDS/HIV rates in Oman increased by over 25 percent in 2015, according to the Ministry of Health.
Based upon data from the Ministry of Health’s Annual Health Report for 2015, HIV among Omanis rose by 26.7 per cent in 2015, compared to 2014. A total of 142 cases were registered with the ministry, in which 95 cases were males and the remaining 47 were females. The majority were men and women between the ages of 25 and 49 years old. As of the end of 2015, 130 HIV victims were receiving treatment in Oman, while 12 died from the virus.
Dr Mohammed Baqi, head of department at the Surveillance, Disease Control and Epidemiology in DGHS, Dhofar, said, “I think increasing the detection rate is an important reason here. People now are more confident and more motivated to be tested, due to increased awareness and improved privacy and confidentiality measures in the health system. Additionally, the benefits of early diagnosis and early treatment are now being stressed. This has led the patients to go for testing and therefore, more cases are detected.
“Of course, other reasons, such as the increase in number of sex-related transmissions, vertical transmission from mother to child, and drug abuse are all still valid and have to be addressed in this regard.”
“Children can be affected in many ways: from mother to child during pregnancy and delivery, via breastfeeding, particularly in untreated or medically undetected mothers.”