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January 2, 2008

Reporting HIV-Related Discrimination in Saudi Arabia

A human rights organization in Saudi Arabia is asking HIV-positive Saudis to report any instances of discrimination in the workplace or from the public, reports the Agence France-Presse (AFP) (afp.google.com, 1/2).

Being open about ones HIV status is rare in the conservative Muslim kingdom. However, the AFP reports, the National Society for Human Rights made the appeal earlier this week, in advance of the expected March unveiling of draft legislation that will, for the first time, spell out rights of HIV-positive people in Saudi Arabia. The new bill is expected to feature clauses about access to education, employment and travel for HIV-positive people.

According to a healthy ministry official, about 11,000 cases of HIV have been reported in Saudi Arabia since the first case in 1984.

Las August, the Saudi press reported on the health ministry’s plans to test engaged couples for both HIV and hepatitis before they are allowed to marry.


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