Individual topic 1 ( the changing face of HIV )
Are we in the right track?
▪ Are the data in the Middle East Region in general regarding reported HIV cases reliable and valid? And is it related to the exiting political, religious, cultural framework in the region?
▪ Do Political, financial, and social barriers have often kept the most effective prevention and treatment strategies from reaching affected or high-risk groups? Is there is a need to ensure sustained access to preventive and treatment services for all high-risk groups?
▪ What are the reasons or challenges behind underreporting and denying the alarming increase of HIV in the region?
▪ Is there is an urgent need for developing and implementing new policies and programs for HIV patients?
The changing face of HIV
For the last few decades, AIDS was one of the most important epidemiological issues all over the world. In 2007, the estimated number of persons living with HIV worldwide was 33.2 million, a reduction of 16% compared with the estimate published in 2006 (39.5) million (UNAIDS/WHO, 2006). However, the reliability of the available HIV/AIDS incidence, prevalence and mortality data for Middle East region in particular is low because many of these countries either do not report their statistics or are under-reporting. Global epidemiological indicators, including data from the World Health Organization's Global Health Atlas, do indicate evidence of the burgeoning threat of an HIV/AIDS crisis in Middle East region and has serious bearings on disease surveillance and monitoring.
Although the prevalence of HIV infection among adults in the Middle East Region (0.3%) is roughly equivalent to figures for Western Europe, the number of estimated new HIV/AIDS cases for 2003 is about 60% higher, demonstrating the alarming increase in the epidemic in the region. Even though the absolute number of HIV/AIDS cases in the majority of Muslim countries,...