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Compared to other parts of the world, the MENA region has a low prevalence of HIV/AIDS. However, new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS-related illness are on the rise. Over the past two decades, new HIV infections have increased by more than a quarter in the region, according to UNAIDS.
HIV/AIDS is still considered taboo in some countries and misconceptions of the disease persist. Other factors that compound the issue include stigmatising attitudes from health workers, which can discourage patients from receiving life-saving treatments. According to UNAIDS, only 29 percent of HIV positive adults in MENA are managing the disease with antiretroviral drugs.
In this episode, we’ll hear from people working to address HIV/AIDS in the MENA region. Is reluctance to openly address the issue impacting HIV prevention and putting lives at risk?
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Nesrine Rizk @nr07
Simone Salem @UNAIDS
Regional Director, UNAIDS MENA
Elie Ballan @ElieBallan
HIV and AIDS in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) - Avert
Egyptian medical students meet to address stigma and discrimination in health-care settings - UNAIDS
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