UNAIDS Country Manager Ahmed Khamis (l), Representative of Health and Population Mohamed Abdel, and United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt Randa Abou al-Hassan at World AIDS Day in Cairo on December 11, 2018. Egypt Today/Noha El Tawil
CAIRO - 11 December 2018: The commemoration of the World AIDS Day 2018 in Egypt took place on Tuesday marking the 30th anniversary with the aim of encouraging people to check up their HIV infection status, and promoting the “Ending AIDS 2030” agenda among policy-makers.
UNAIDS Country Manager Ahmed Khamis said “there are signs of a concentrated epidemic among key populations” despite the low prevalence rate.
Khamis added that some of those who do not realize their infection die. The slogan this year is “know, check up, we are with you.”
“Media support is needed to combat the virus,” Khamis said praising the role of the government to fight the disease and provide treatment for patients.
Representative of Preventive Medicine Sector at the Ministry of Health and Population Mohamed Abdel Fatah stated that “Egypt is among the countries with the least HIV prevalence in the world at less than 0.02 percent.”
Abdel Fatah added that, within the prevention of mother-to-child transmission program implemented in all governorates, the ministry recorded a success rate of 100 percent in reaching non-infected children.
The ministry launched the National HIV/AIDS Program in 1986 being one of the first among the Arab countries, Abdel Fatah stated. The infection rate is less than for each 10,000 citizens, he added.
National HIV/AIDS Program Manager Walid Kamal revealed that 24 centers located in 18 Egyptian governorates offer “HIV counseling services and anonymous confidential voluntary testing.”
Kamal added that “periodical follow-up services are available at 14 care centers across the country.”
Kamal revealed that 80 percent of HIV infections in Egypt occur among males, and that it is prevalent among those who are in their twenties and early thirties.
Kamal highlighted that more women must be encouraged to check-up, especially those who have partners having the disease.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt Randa Abou al-Hassan stated that 25 percent (9.4 million) of HIV infected patients worldwide “are not aware of their status.”
“Despite the availability of a wider array of HIV tools and strategies, the world is still profoundly off-track to end AIDS by 2030,” Abou al-Hassan said citing inequality and social stigma as the main reasons.
Abou al-Hassan stresses that HIV-infected women must receive equal social treatment which requires the efforts of all entities in charge.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS provides technical assistance and coordinate endeavors to end the disease.
The UNODC provides support for prisoners and drug addicts to receive treatment and prevent the infection.