People living with HIV: pioneers in the HIV response in the Middle East and North Africa

Published: November 16, 2010

HIV prevalence throughout most of the Middle East and North Africa remains low in the general population. In many settings, the epidemic is concentrated among key populations at high risk of infection, such as injecting drug users, men who have sex with men and sex workers. Exceptions to the general rule are evident in Djibouti, southern Sudan and parts of Somalia, where HIV prevalence now exceeds 1% among pregnant women in the general population.

Sixty participants from 18 countries across the Middle East and North Africa—including people living with HIV and UNAIDS Cosponsor organizations—gathered last week in Broumana, Lebanon, for a regional meeting focused on the empowerment of people living with HIV.

Supported by UNAIDS in collaboration with the Regional/Arab Network Against AIDS (RANAA), UNICEF, UNDP and USAID, the meeting focused on developing the leadership skills of people living with HIV with a view to advancing the vision of Zero new infections, Zero stigma and discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths. The participants pledged to strengthen coordination and partnerships with key actors, including government, civil society and faith-based organizations and the private sector.

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