Governor of Asir Province Prince Khaled Al-Faisal yesterday inaugurated in Abha the third international conference on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The four-day conference, organized by the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh in collaboration with the Prince Sultan Charitable Foundation, the Directorate of Health for Asir Province, and the World Health Organization (WHO), comes within the framework of the Government's plans to improve the performance of Saudi physicians working in various parts of the Kingdom.
Speaking on the occasion on behalf of Health Minister Dr. Osama Shobokshi, Assistant Undersecretary for Preventative Medicine at the Ministry of Health Dr. Yaqub Al-Mazrou referred to reports of a steady increase in the number of AIDS victims in spite of the intensive efforts being exerted to combat this dangerous disease. By the end of 1998 there were over 33 million people with HIV, and the death toll is now nearly 14 million worldwide. He added that, thanks be to Almighty God, this disease is under control in Saudi Arabia.