1,233 new cases of AIDS in Saudi Arabia last year

April 9, 2013

(AP)—The head of Saudi Arabia's AIDS charity foundation says the country saw 1,233 new cases of the disease last year.

In remarks published Tuesday in the state-owned Okaz newspaper, Dr. Sanaa bin Mustafa Flimban said 96 percent of in Saudi Arabia contracted AIDS through .

She added that a total of 850 Saudi women are infected in the kingdom, all of whom contracted the disease from their husbands. Eighty percent discovered they had AIDS only after pregnancy.

For years, Saudi Arabia released no AIDS statistics. Despite changes over the past decade, talk of sex and is taboo in the conservative Muslim nation. The UNDP says nearly 10,000 cases of AIDS or HIV, the virus that causes it, have been reported in Saudi Arabia since 1986.

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