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Preventing Hiv/Aids in the Middle East and North Africa

By The World Bank

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Book Id: WPLBN0000154773
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.2 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
Full Text

Title: Preventing Hiv/Aids in the Middle East and North Africa  
Author: The World Bank
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Bank, T. W. (n.d.). Preventing Hiv/Aids in the Middle East and North Africa. Retrieved from


HIV/AIDS has emerged as one of the world?s worst infectious diseases. Over the past decade, the epidemic has spread with devastating effects in Africa, and is now threatening to spread with equal force in the Russian Federation, India, China, and many other transition economies. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the estimated prevalence rate of HIV is just 0.3 percent among the adult population. However, this low prevalence rate does not mean that the risk of an HIV/AIDS epidemic is low. Recent evidence suggests that the number of adults and children living with HIV/AIDS is rapidly rising in the MENA countries. Experiences from other transition countries indicate that, in the early stages of the epidemic, HIV infection tends to be limited to high-risk groups. For example, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the epidemic is in early stages of transmission and fueled primarily by injecting drug use and secondarily by sexual transmission. Effective prevention at this early stage of infection can prevent the transmission of the disease to the general population. Once the infection spreads to the general public, the transmission rates will rise exponentially, and it will become extremely difficult and costly to reverse the trend. According to the currently available data, HIV transmission in the MENA countries appears to be taking place mainly among high-risk groups, such as injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, and prisoners. But the absence of reliable surveillance data among these high-risk groups makes it difficult to measure the actual level of infection, and any major outbreaks in such groups could be easily overlooked.


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