Rabat - The number of new HIV infections in Morocco decreased by 44 percent between 2004 and 2016 due to the “remarkable progress made by Morocco in terms of coverage and access to preventive and curative medical services,” said the provisional Minister of Health, Abdelkader Amara, on Tuesday in Rabat.
Rabat – The number of new HIV infections in Morocco decreased by 44 percent between 2004 and 2016 due to the “remarkable progress made by Morocco in terms of coverage and access to preventive and curative medical services,” said the provisional Minister of Health, Abdelkader Amara, on Tuesday in Rabat.
These results have earned Morocco praise from UNAIDS in its 2017 report, as it scored exceptional results in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The rate of people living with HIV who know their HIV status increased from 37 percent in 2011 to 63 percent by the end of 2016, exceeding the average of 53 percent observed in the MENA region.
The number of people receiving free antiretroviral treatment has almost tripled, from 4,047 in 2011 to 11,246 in June 2017, compared to the average of 24 percent in the MENA region.
Resulting from policies to prevent transmission of HIV infections from mother to child, the coverage rate of HIV-positive pregnant women through preventive treatment has increased from 33 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2016, far exceeding the percentage observed in the MENA region, which is less than 20 percent, said the provincial minister.
The ministry has developed and implemented, in partnership with the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), its HIV-related human rights strategy 2013-2017 in order to reduce stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV and vulnerable populations, he said.
In Morocco, UNAIDS found that the most affected people by HIV in 2016 are drugs addicts, with 7.9 percent prevalence of HIV.
They are followed by men who have sex with men, with an HIV prevalence of 5.7 percent. Only half of them registered using condoms during intercourse, which makes them the second most affected population by AIDS in Morocco.
The study also noted that half of sex professionals, men and women alike, reported having unprotected sex, among whom 1.3 percent live with HIV.
The report added that among the 78,000 prisoners in the kingdom in 2016, 0.5 percent of them live with AIDS.
In addition, the proportion of pregnant women who are carrying the virus in Morocco reached 62 percent in the same year, registering an increase in the last six years.