“Explanation is the first step towards prevention of AIDS. We should explain everything clearly (to the youth) and in a transparent manner so that all points are clear,” Dr Ali Rahal said at a seminar on prevention of AIDS among youth in the Arab region that concluded on Sunday.
“We should not put anything under the table; we should shed light on all issues and be clear about the risks of the disease, methods of transmission and ways of treating it. We should alert the youth about the dangers of the disease before they fall prey to the virus. The virus and resultant disease have potential to destroy their future.”
The three-day seminar was aimed at spreading awareness about AIDS among the youth and organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with ISESCO and the department of activities and student awareness at the Directorate-General of Educational Programmes.
Dr Rahal said the symposium highlighted ISESCO's focus on family and societal health, particularly that of young people. “The organisation believes youths form the largest age group in Arab and Islamic societies, and must be protected from various diseases, mainly AIDS.”
Dr Maryam Harmas Ibrahim al Hajari, director of school health services at the Ministry of Health in Bahrain, said, “In the Kingdom of Bahrain there is a high level of political commitment towards protection against HIV and AIDS, which threaten the youth of all Arab nations.”
Bahrain has set up a plan for treating the HIV-positive and is adopting a number of preventive measures such as testing for the virus before marriage, medical examination of expatriates and testing of pregnant women. “We hope to detect HIV-positive cases so that treatment can commence early,” she said.
Advisors, experts and director-generals from various health, civil and educational organisations in Yemen and the GCC countries also attended the seminar.