Egypt and Syria Drop the Ball on HIV Prevention
“Up until now, despite the existence of awareness campaigns and support
from religious leaders, many continue to believe that Egypt is not actually at
risk,” Aon said. “That was the mistake initially made in Africa, where it was
once believed that HIV/AIDS was a white man’s disease. Now it has become an
From when the first HIV/AIDS case was discovered in Syria in 1987 until the
end of 2005, only 377 out of 4 million people who undertook blood tests have
tested HIV positive, according to the first-ever official statistics published
by the health ministry in February. NGO activists, however, say this figure is
too low, estimating that there are at least 1,500 cases of people with HIV/AIDS
Egypt and Syria, which are both under repressive regimes, are denying that they have problems? This is news! (Italics = sarcasm) I really don't think I need to comment on the rose-colored glasses of the two governments. Just Google them and you'll see.
But it's important to note that ignoring AIDS helps to spread it. And even if they want to ignore it in their own countries, shame on the Egyptian and Syrian delegations for trying to keep discussion of AIDS out of the UN! Egypt also tried to keep lgbt-rights organizations from being granted consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Committee in January in an unprecedented procedural move, as reported by Pink News. Unprecedented? That means no one has ever done something like that before. Sheesh!
Note: Even though HIV is not predominately a problem in the gay community in the Middle East, but rather in the heterosexual communittee, it has still plague many gay communities worldwide. And it could become a problem in the Middle East. Easily. So I write about it.