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International News

Concentrated HIV Epidemics Emerging Among MSM in Middle East, North Africa, Study Shows

August 3, 2011

Concentrated HIV epidemics are emerging among men who have sex with men in the Middle East and North Africa, "and high levels of risky sexual behavior threaten to spread the AIDS virus further in the region, researchers said Tuesday" in a study published in PLoS Medicine, Reuters reports. The researchers "found evidence for concentrated HIV epidemics -- where infection rates are aboveĀ five percent in a certain population group -- in several countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan and Tunisia," the news agency notes (Kelland, 8/2).

"The survey is the first to describe the state of HIV among gay and bisexual men in a region where same-sex intercourse is often criminal and the stigma associated with it can hinder efforts to prevent transmissions, the researchers said,"

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Lauren (Washington, DC) Mon., Sep. 19, 2011 at 11:02 am EDT
Thank you so much for this article on concentrated epidemics in the Middle East and North Africa. One important, though often overlooked element of any successful programs in concentrated epidemics is gender. Integrating strategies to address gender inequity and change harmful gender norms is an increasingly important component of HIV programs, including those targeting most-at-risk populations (MARPs). AIDSTAR-One recently released a series of case studies on concentrated epidemics in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Four of nine case studies (Lebanon, Indonesia, India, and Cambodia) are ready for review & comment:
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