Sudan Begins to Confront AIDS
April 18, 2007
Despite having what UNAIDS says is the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in North Africa or the Middle East, more than 2.3 percent of adults are infected, Sudan has been slow to confront the epidemic. Reticence about sex, the rigidity of Islamic law, and the stigmatizing of those known to be infected all contribute to the problem.
There is much work to be done, however: Some officials fear that discussing HIV's transmission may encourage sex outside marriage, and the question of whether condom promotion is appropriate is hotly debated.
Even so, getting the word out about how HIV spreads is vital, said Tabitha Boutros, minister of health: "If you get the message across to the people then it's very easy to prevent HIV/AIDS."
Voice of America News
04.18.07; Noel King