Thursday, 1 December 2022
The practice of deporting foreign nationals who are HIV positive should stop, the Cyprus Turkish Medical Association has said, Yeniduzen reports.
Union Board Member, and Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Specialist Dr. Nesil Bayraktar stated that there are approximately 38.4 million people living with HIV worldwide and that there are 116 HIV-positive TRNC citizens registered in North Cyprus.
In her message titled “Equality is the cure for discrimination and marginalisation“, delivered on December 1 – World Aids Day, Dr. Bayraktar said that according to the records kept from 1997, a total of eight people had died in the TRNC in 25 years due to HIV-related diseases.
Only 75 percent of individuals living with HIV in the world can access treatment, she said, noting that all individuals living with HIV registered in North Cyprus have access to effective treatment.
Dr. Bayraktar recalled that the World Health Organisation’s statement published in 2016, regardless of the immune status of the patients, treatment should be started as soon as the diagnosis is made and that the development of aids can be prevented in HIV patients.
She pointed out that all equipment is available to diagnose HIV in North Cyprus, and 189 countries continue this practice within the scope of the programme to combat HIV.
Bayraktar, who noted that the viral load is suppressed in people under treatment, preventing the virus from multiplying and damaging the immune system, and at the same time preventing transmission. She reminded that she catalogued the fight against HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted diseases under the same heading and that she evaluated HIV infection as a chronic health problem.
Only 40 Foreign Nationals HIV-Positive in TRNC
Dr. Bayraktar stated that there are 51,280 foreign nationals registered at universities and working informally.
To date, only 40 foreign nationals have been diagnosed with HIV.
“As it can be understood from the figures, the current practice has lost its effectiveness when we consider the public health and economic conditions, and with the opposite effect. Both the access for infected people to treatment is prevented and it is ineffective in preventing transmission. Therefore, the primitive deportation practice of foreign nationals found to be HIV-infected should be abandoned“, Bayraktar said.