Researchers from the Near East University Experimental Health Sciences Research Centre have carried out research to identify the current status of HIV/AIDS virus in Cyprus to reveal the size of threat of a possible pandemic through mathematical modelling and prepared a report, titled as “Analysis of the HIV Epidemic in Cyprus 2018, which was presented to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu.
According to the press release issued by the Directorate of Press and Public Relations of Near East University, the research committee from the Near East University Experimental Health Sciences Research Centre has been conducting significant studies on the HIV incidents in both north and south Cyprus and they had recently completed a report based on an analysis of mathematical modelling; and this report has been presented to the Minister of Tourism and Environment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Fikri Ataoğlu.
In the statement made by the Vice Rector of Near East University, Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ stated that they had informed the Minister Fikri Ataoğlu on the findings of the report. Furthermore, Prof. Dr. Şanlıdağ expressed that currently there was not a HIV pandemic in Cyprus and based on their findings, they were able to predict the dynamic of the HIV epidemic in Cyprus over the next 50 years.
Prof. Dr. Şanlıdağ: “We will continue to fulfil our responsibilities to the public!”
In addition to the above, Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ provided details regarding human movements in the country and stated that on average, 1 million 759 thousand tourists came to North Cyprus; whereas around 3.9 million tourists came to the south. Bearing these numbers in mind, 129 HIV incidents were observed in the north and 1057 HIV incidents were seen in south Cyprus. Moreover, Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ added that the tourists came to the north mainly from Turkey, alongside Germany and Britain whereas the tourists who went to the south were from Russia, Britain and Greece. Consequently, Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ stated that they had presented t he findings of their scientific data to the decision makers of the country as they believed this to be a part of their social responsibility. Also, they included suggestions on possible steps to be taken and precautions to be taken.
As it is done in developed countries, Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ assured that they would be continuing to work to identify risk groups, for informing these groups on protection from the disease, getting them to do tests and initiating treatment to those who have been just diagnosed; in other words everything that is needed to be done to keep the HIV incidents under control. Furthermore, he added that they would be continuing to contribute to the determination of the country’s policy on the matter.
Bakan Ataoğlu: “The data provided could be used as part of the tourism promotion of the country…”
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu stated that the data provided by the Near East University researchers could be included in the promotion of the country and expressed how pleased he was of being supplied significant work on HIV/AIDS status in our country. He reassured that based on the findings of this report, they would be taking the necessary steps to be taken on the issue.
In addition to his above statements, Fikri Ataoğlu stated that AIDS disease was an important social and psychological issue of the public and added that the study was important both for the commercial and touristic relations of our country with other countries and for revealing the health data against the changing human mass movements. He emphasised that this study also revealed the touristic safety of the country and acted as a ‘guide’ in keeping track of what needs to be done on the matter. He ended his words by stating that while these studies were important in terms of presenting data on HIV rate and spread rates in our country, it was also one of the most prominent examples showing that our country is a healthy destination in terms of tourism.