Friday, December 02, 2005

AIDS cases in Morocco on the increase

“AIDS cases in Morocco are increasing year after year,” confirmed Wednesday the President of the Pan-African Organisation against AIDS, Nadia Bezad.

In an interview published by the French-speaking daily Aujourd'hui le Maroc, Bezad said that in 2005, over 17,719 people are HIV-positive in Morocco including 1,839 full-blown AIDS cases.

She stressed that heterosexual relations are the main cause of the transmission of the virus, adding that ‘non protected sexual intercourse and ignorance contribute a great deal to the spread of the disease.

According to Bezad, women are more and more vulnerable to AIDS. “The disease increasingly affects women, because of their abstaining from using means of protection,” she said.

The French language daily also said that the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria offered USD 9 million to Morocco to fight the phenomenon.

“Annually, 350,000 new cases of sexually transmissible diseases are registered. As far as AIDS is concerned, Over 17,000 people are HIV-positives in Morocco. Those under 40 years old are most affected by the epidemic,” underlined Bezad.

The first infection was detected in 1986 in Morocco. The number multiplied to reach 165 in 1999 and 205 in 2005.

Statistics have shown that 76% of contamination is due to multiple heterosexual relations. About 4% of cases are drug addicts.

About 84% of infections are registered in urban areas and 12% in rural areas.

Moroccan civil society is mobilized to join the fight against AIDS. In addition to their many activities on the ground, associations have played a significant role in behavioural change communication.

HIV is one of the biggest social, economic and health problem standing as an obstacle to the development of the world.

It is considered to be a global emergency claiming over 8,000 lives every day.


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