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Stigma helps HIV spread in silence in Egypt

HIV is spreading at an alarming rate in Egypt, where those at risk fear the social stigma almost as much as the health issues that come with it.
A man places a placard as he prepares a message during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign on the eve of World AIDS Day in Kolkata, India, November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri - RC1104607C00

While HIV infection rates are declining globally, the disease is spreading dramatically in Egypt. According to UNAIDS, HIV infections in the country are increasing at an annual rate of 25- 30%. An estimated 11,000 Egyptians were living with HIV as of 2016, most of them under 49.

“The 25-30% annual increase has been estimated by the number of people undergoing HIV testing and being diagnosed with the virus,” Ahmed Khamis, the country manager of UNAIDS Agency in Egypt, told Al-Monitor.

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