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AIDS Cases on the Rise in Muslim Countries

AIDS Cases on the Rise in Muslim Countries

 

A depressing new report published last week in the journal PLoS Medicine reveals that because of the high numbers of men having sex with other men in secret, AIDS is on the rise in many Muslim countries.  Between 2 and 3 percent of men in the region have sex with other men, but condom use is rare and many men, seeking to keep their affairs a secret, put their wives at risk of infection.

The statistics on HIV infection may also be inaccurate, and, as the researchers observe, “very little is known about HIV transmission patterns among MSM in [the Middle East and North Africa].”  This is because stigma and the very real fear of being imprisoned or executed keep men from speaking out about their affairs, or seeking treatment.  According to the report, men did not fully grasp the risks of unprotected sex.

Several populations were especially at risk for HIV transmission: truck drivers, street children and prisoners.  Prostitution is increasingly common, although male prostitutes are also married, to preserve a facade of “normality.”  Men tended not to use condoms, not because they had not heard of them, but because they were inaccessible or uncomfortable.

Disturbingly, many men believed that their chances of contracting HIV were lower if they engaged in anal sex, and with the exception of Tunisia and Lebanon, significant numbers of men having sex with men were unaware of the risks of HIV.

The report took on a tone of urgency in its concluding sections.  ”The window of opportunity for prevention of further HIV transmission among [men having sex with men] is narrowing,” the researchers wrote, “and prompt action and robust interventions are needed. Interventions at this stage need to be prioritized for the most vulnerable…subpopulations such as [male sex workers] and transgender people who…appear to be at the highest risk of HIV exposure.”

Education, increased access to contraceptives and measures to lessen the stigma surrounding HIV are all needed to save more men in Muslim countries from contracting HIV.  The New York Times reports that some countries have adopted compulsory HIV tests for work visas and marriage licenses, but far more drastic steps need to be taken.

Related Stories:

Zimbabwe HIV Consultant: Decriminalize Gays, Prostitutes

Criminalizing LGBTs Harms HIV Prevention

30 Years of HIV

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

Photo from John Rawlinson via flickr.

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44 comments

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8:01AM PST on Feb 15, 2012

Education.

10:28PM PDT on Sep 10, 2011

Loved this article -
It has given me great hope -
9/11 - NEVER FORGET!!!

12:33PM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

my thinking is out of the box but i live here in nj and close to ny and have been listening to lots of holistic doctors over the years. so i hear the other side of the story i myself am a vegan i am 70yr and i see the big difference between allopathy and holistic healing i have seen how the allopaths have killed so many people over the years with their drugs and needless surgery. even people i knew.i hardly go to allopaths myself i see how allopaths and big pharma tried over the years to ban supplements and herbs. i would rather beleive a holistic doctor any day than an allopath. i looked at the cause of disease. i could see its the result of the body becomeing toxic and acidic due to animal foods and sugar starchs and other harmfull things i myself take as much vitamins and herbs as i can afford and i juice everyday i have read macrobiotic and other holistic books that say that stds come from being toxic from animal foods sure they can spread later. allopaths tell you its only cought. are these books lieing or are the allopaths lieing DR SABI a honest herb doctor will tell you what i just said i would trust him any day before any allopath

1:21PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

mabolsa r so many good honest scientist have come out and said aids is a fraud where have you been the news media as crooked as they are do not tell you that as they are bought out by big pharma and the AMA and all the other crooks so they are not going to tell you.they know they will be exsposed for the liers they are.don/t believe everything you are told read the great aids hoax also the truth about HIV look up pleamorphic generation of germs by bechanp. you should know that wikopedia is compromized in favor of the crooked allopaths so the can not be trusted look up hoxley a man that cured cancer and they do a hachet job on him so they can fool the gullible like you they even took his herbs off the market in the exact formular he made up they stopped him from cureing his patients. when i say cure i mean arrest it as you are only cured as long as you stay on his protocal. they did this with every truly holistic person that arrested cancer including dr max gerson and many others where have you been it seems that you only read the orthodox allopaths your mind is very limited and closed wake up don/t be fooled forever. they are doing the same with aids as they did with these men

1:01PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

yes

11:58AM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

rob and jay you say you are medical people well that exsplains it all since they are the ones keeping this deady myth alive. you of all should know of the truth of bechamp but like all the medical people out there you ingnor him in favor of pastieur why because his defunct theiry is what allopathy is based on. you seem to forget about pleomorphic generation of disease. you want gullible people to believe that germs are only cought or passed on one to another aids is a nutritional disease. you of all should know that when people eat animal foods and sugar and are under stress that the immune system gets weak that a low oxogen condition developes aids is 30 different diseases and many good honest scientist have said that its a hoax. you would have people put on AZT just look at how many were killed on that alone they use a little less toxic drugs now only because even the gullible joe six pack public will see how these drugs are killing more than the aids no i am not a muslim people like you are brain washed and thats why many people are going away from allopathy all together. and many are going vegan so many that your allopathic friends are trying to ban supplements and herbs enough people can see threugh their lies and trickery before drugs stds were cured by fasting herbs and diet take away the cause the mucus from animal foods and sugar read arnold ehret

11:35AM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

yes

11:35AM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

yes

3:58AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

John D, John D, your ignorance is alarming! Stress causes STDs even without sex? Do you also subscribe to the notion that men raping virgins or babies will cure them of AIDS? Do you also believe STDs can be picked up on toilet seats? You sound like you would. You give a bad name to Vegans (which we are, as well as having 14 years of university education between us & being medical people).

Mabolsa is intelligent & knowledgeable in his remarks. Quite unlike you. You'd be hilarious if your ideas weren't so dangerous, outrageously stupid & unscientific. Are you a Muslim? It would be hard to find a 'religion' as anti-intellectual, anti-questioning, & anti-science as Islam is.

3:48AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

Deborah, you ask; 'I wonder how Shariah Law views homosexuality & child abuse?'

Islam/Sharia demands gay people be killed (along with others like those who leave Islam & women who marry non-Muslims or are rape victims etc.)

Child abuse is rampant in Islamic countries. Mohammed 'married' a 6 y/o girl & had sex with her (non-vaginally) until she was 9 when he 'entered her' (noble of him to wait so long, huh?) So having sex with children is allowed, as is having sex slaves (yes, still today) as long as they are non-Muslims. Muslim men are allowed 4 'wives' to sate their lust with, but then can have unlimited 'temporary wives' for sexual relationships. It's all 'moral' because they get a Mut'a license from their imam, otherwise they would be adulterers & be killed! What an easy religion! Great for men anyway, since Islam promises nothing to women. Sorry.

Ayatollah Khomeini's 'Little Green Book' praises & promotes Muslim men having sex with even nursing babies, as he admits to doing himself. But you can only rip them open anally, not vaginally until their a bit older. What a holy man!

It's amazing a man who was so sex obsessed & raped captive women, had a harem of 'wives' & concubines (mistresses just for sex), had sex with a little girl, & a boy child on a trip (OK as long as the boy is hairless), could create a religion so brutally puritanical, yet all the while like an orgy-lover's dream. The wonder is that there isn't more

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