Representatives of 12 Arab Nations Attend Conference on Fighting STDs, HIV/AIDS
Representatives of 12 Arab nations on Tuesday in Tunis, Tunisia, began a four-day conference to discuss how best to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. The goal of the conference is to support groups that raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of STDs, which are taboo subjects in many Arab countries, according to the International Federation of Family Planning and the United Nations, which organized the conference. Many HIV-positive people in Arab countries refuse to admit their HIV status and continue to have unprotected sex, Majdi Khaled, who organized the conference, said. According to Moncef Ben Ibrahim -- who heads the Arab region office of IFFP -- poverty, drugs and war also are contributing to the spread of HIV in the region. Morocco is trying to combat STDs by opening health clinics that encourage young people to talk about issues relating to the diseases, Gozlene Ritimi of the Moroccan association of family planning said. Representatives from Algeria, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Mauritania, Libya, Sudan, Djibouti, Tunisia and the Palestinian territories are attending the conference, according to AFP/Yahoo! News (AFP/Yahoo! News, 5/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.