United Nations calls on Arab Countries to respond to rise in HIV/AIDS cases
With HIV/AIDS infections on the rise throughout Arab countries, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced Monday plans to work with 17 governments in the Arab region to break the silence surrounding the epidemic.
A half million adults and children throughout the Arab world are living with HIV/AIDS, with 80,000 people infected there last year, according to the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Sexual intercourse is apparently the main source of transmission in the majority of the countries, with significant increases in HIV infection among injecting drug users also reported, SPA news agency reported.
In Djibouti and Sudan, political instability, socio-economic disparities, and large-scale population mobility have led to widespread epidemics.
"While the Arab region is generally regarded as a low-prevalence region, this is no reason for complacency," said Zahir Jamal of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States. "The region must ensure that an appropriate level of response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is in place," he made clear.
The new initiative aims to create a regional network of civil society organizations, empower the press to address HIV/AIDS concerns, and explore the impact of immigration on the spread of the epidemic, according to UNDP. (Albawaba.com)
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