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HIV in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Can We Change the Way We Deal with Co-Infections

Authors Al-Mozaini M, Alrahbeni T, Dirar Q, Alotibi J, Alrajhi A

Received 7 July 2020

Accepted for publication 7 October 2020

Published 18 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 111—117


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Maha Al-Mozaini,1 Tahani Alrahbeni,2 Qais Dirar,3 Jawaher Alotibi,3 Abdulrahman Alrajhi3

1Immunocompromised Host Research Section, Department of Infection and Immunity, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2College of Nursing, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Maha Al-Mozaini Tel +966 11 442 7866
Fax +966 11 442 4519

Abstract: The first incidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was reported back in 1984, and by the end of 2013, around 1509 patients were diagnosed with HIV infection. Recently in 2018, the Saudi ministry of health released that the incidence of HIV in Saudi Arabia is 3 cases of HIV for every 10,000 of the population. Having said that, the surveillance of HIV will face a range of challenges in KSA despite proper medical care, counseling, family planning, diagnostic, evaluation, and the use of effective anti-retroviral therapy. Patients who underwent anti-retroviral therapy showed significant reduction in morbidity as well as mortality. On the other hand, further targeted treatment and preventive strategies are warranted to control HIV co-infections in the KSA. In addition, progress towards meeting the WHO 90– 90-90 goals for HIV not only at KSA but at the MENA region too, which is that of the population, 90% are diagnosed, 90% undergoing treatment, and 90% under viral control, is not being systematically monitored. In this review, we discuss the common co-infections with HIV infections that are reported in KSA, which when compared to international trends, it is similar for both viral hepatitis and tuberculosis. Although those co-infections exist, they are presented in different ratios and percentages when compared to the international reported data. These differences mandates defining and introducing new resilient methods of treatment and preventive measures. In this review, we offer an insight into healthcare policymakers to be compliant with UNAIDS 2020 vision program. We also discuss some of the gaps and recommendations to achieve the WHO 90– 90-90 goal.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus, opportunistic infections, Saudi Arabia, AIDS, epidemiology, health policy

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