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© UNICEF/Egypt2005/Giacomo Pirozzi

According to the UNAIDS*, the estimated number of people living with HIV in Egypt was 7,439 in 2013 whereas the number of people who received antiretroviral treatment was 1,323 in 2014. The country is facing a national epidemic identified in two population groups: people on drugs through injections, and homosexual men. No evidence has been found through HIV testing among any other population groups.
Bio-behavioural surveys have been used to determine HIV prevalence, which increased ten-fold between 2006 and 2010. More recently, HIV prevalence has been estimated at 7.7 per cent in Cairo and 6.7 per cent in Alexandria among people on drugs through injections. Among homosexual men, the estimates are 5.4 per cent in Cairo and 6.9 per cent in Alexandria. With regards to female sex workers, no estimate is available.
Some HIV professionals presume that vulnerable populations may include prisoners, migrants, and street children. This hypothesis is not evidenced by any serological studies conducted among these populations but self-reported behaviour hints that some members of these populations may be vulnerable.

It is very challenging to provide prevention services to the key populations who are at highest risk foremost because their behaviours are judged as crimes: injecting drugs, sex between men and sex-selling. As it comes to providing testing, care, support and treatment services for people living with HIV, most of the people who live with HIV are not tested early enough but only when immunosuppression leads to greater morbidity and mortality. Moreover, test kits are frequently out of stock and CD4 cell count testing and viral load testing places are only concentrated in the largest cities. This situation leads to pre-care drop out of newly diagnosed people living with HIV. Finally, there is a high treatment drop out in the first year of treatment due to lack of knowledge and to insufficient antiretroviral medication supply.
Most of the prevention services are delivered by non-governmental organisations whereas most of the care, support and treatment services are taken care by governmental providers.

* UNAIDS, AIDSInfo online database. Accessed May 2015 http://www.aidsinfoonline.org/devinfo/libraries/aspx/home.aspx, also available in Children in Egypt, A Statistical Digest 2015, UNICEF
 

 

 

 
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