Premarital medical tests have uncovered 19 cases of AIDS and 182 cases of hepatitis in Saudi Arabia, the Arab News reported yesterday. The blood tests have been mandatory in the Kingdom since February 21, 2004.
The statistics on the premarital tests were released recently by the Ministry of Health and published by Al-Watan newspaper.
Ibrahim Al-Omar, director general of Laboratories and Blood Banks at the Ministry of Health, said that 731,473 people have taken premarital medical tests. Of those who underwent the tests, 4.26 percent were found to have a sickle cell trait, and 0.23 percent with sickle cell anemia. He added that people with the thalassemia trait constitute 2.63 percent, while those affected by it are 0.076 percent.