Five healthy Saudi women have agreed to marry men who have AIDS as part of a support group’s efforts to partner-up infected people, according to a local newspaper.
The Saudi Society for Combating AIDS in Jeddah has helped 140 men and women with the fatal disease to marry and there are another 50 on the waiting list, the Saudi Gazette said.
Executive director of the society, Mousa Hayazea, described the young women’s decision to marry men who would ultimate die as “adventurous”.
The marriages only would go ahead with the approval of their parents, he said.
Arranged marriages are common in the conservative Islamic kingdom, where being single or divorced can be difficult, particularly for women.
Hayazea said many of the women offering to marry men with AIDS were divorced.
There also is a significant social stigma around having AIDS, which prevents most patients from marrying or getting a job.
Hayazea said 95 percent of the marriages arranged with the AIDS sufferers had been successful and the couples were leading a “stable life”.
“Many of these patients object to marrying young women registered with the society because of their age, nationality or social status because the majority of the women are divorcees,” he was quoted as saying.