Number of New HIV Cases Worldwide Decreases Significantly

According to the latest report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids), the number of new HIV cases worldwide has decreased significantly over the last decade, but in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, the number of new HIV cases has increased by 33%.

The Mena region has the lowest HIV burden in the world, but the increasing number of new infections in the Mena region is cause for concern. Dr Nesrine Rizk attributes the increase in new HIV cases to a lack of awareness about the virus in the Mena region.

According to Dr Rizk, in the region there is a lack of “accurate scientific information” when it comes to HIV. BBC Arabic teams asked people on the streets of Beirut and Cairo what they knew about HIV and what they believed to be behind the rise in cases. More than half of those surveyed said they “do not know much about HIV and Aids”.

By Evey Lovelace

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