Jalila Al Noamaniya said that that cases increased since 2010 by more than 41 per cent due to lack of awareness. Image Credit: Social media

Dubai: The Sultanate of Oman has reported an alarming increase in the number of patients infected with AIDS, with 8 cases reported every week, local media reported.

According to Oman News, more than 3,580 HIV cases have been reported in Oman last year, 1,960 of whom have passed away.

Jalila Al Noamaniya, Senior Infectious Diseases Nurse at the Royal Hospital, said that Oman has reported an increase in the number of AIDS patients, adding that cases increased since 2010 by more than 41 per cent due to lack of awareness. She added that some of the cases included school students under the age of 18 who had been raped.

It is worth noting that HIV-infected people who receive antiretroviral therapy and whose virus is suppressed, do not transmit the infection to their partners. Therefore, early access to antiretrovirals and continuous treatment is crucial not only to improve the health of people living with HIV, but also to prevent transmission of the virus to others.

According to World Health Organization, HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed 36.3 million lives so far. “There were an estimated 37.7 million [30.2–45.1 million] people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region. However, with increasing access to effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care, including for opportunistic infections, HIV infection has become a manageable chronic health condition, enabling people living with HIV to lead long and healthy lives”, it said.