Saudi govt to formulate guidelines for protecting rights of HIV+

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Dubai, Oct 28 (UNI) In the first policy initiative to ensure protection of the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, the Saudi government will set up a National Centre to gather data about the affected populace and provide them treatment.

The Centre is a key feature of the national AIDS programme aimed at protecting and providing equal rights to HIV positive people.

Saudi Arabia currently does not have a law in which the rights of people living with the HIV virus are protected.

Officials from The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) and a representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) met yesterday to prepare the initial draft. Upon completion, it will be submitted to the minister of health who will then submit it to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for final approval and implementation.

A copy of the programme will also be sent to the UNDP in order to be officially recognised as Saudi Arabian law.

The programme will be based on the teachings of Islam and the international agreements signed by Saudi Arabia in the field of human rights.

The guidelines will also protect AIDS patients' privacy as no doctor or medical personnel will be allowed to inform persons or other medical institutions of the patient's condition without his authorisation.

The programme specifies that medical institutions or medical personnel must provide emergency admission to the AIDS patient if and when necessary.

Another provision of the proposed law requires that the spouse of the HIV-infected person be informed immediately by medical personnel if certain symptoms appear and he/she refuses to undergo a medical test.

UNI

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