Saturday, December 20, 2014

HIV/AIDS in the Middle East

Hey there Family Flavours family.

Were you aware that December 1st was World Aids Day? According to the World Health Organization, in 2013 there were approximately 35 million people around the world living with HIV. Think this doesn't affect the Middle East?

Well, in reality, our region possesses two contradictory sets of statistics. On the one hand, it has one of the smallest populations of people living with HIV. At the same time, however, it has one of the fastest growing rates of infections.

Why is the infection rate increasing here, when much of the world is witnessing a decrease? There are three major causes:

1) Lack of information - It is very difficult to do research on this topic or collect sound quantitative data (see reason #3), which is especially problematic for tracking transmission routes, an essential aspect of effective intervention

2) Lack of available treatment - UNICEF HIV/AIDS Regional Advisor Samir Anouti explains that, “although significant progress has been made, overall treatment coverage in the MENA remains unacceptably low at 11 per cent.”

3) Stigma, discrimination and fear - The taboo nature of the subject prevents effective community outreach, sensitisation, information campaigns and screening drives

Want to learn more? Please check out our Family Flavours article @ 

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