MEDICAL XPRESS has a disturbing report: "First large study to find HIV epidemic among gays in the Middle East". HIV epidemics are emerging in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa among men who have sex with men, a term that encompasses gay, non-gay identified homosexual men, and transgendered and bisexual men.
"The Middle East and North Africa can no longer be seen as a region immune to the HIV epidemic. Based on multiyear analysis of thousands of data sources, we documented a pattern of new HIV epidemics that have just emerged among men who have sex with men in the last few years in several countries of the region," said Ghina Mumtaz, main author of this study and senior epidemiologist in the infectious disease epidemiology group at Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar.
The study reports that rates of HIV infection among men who have sex with men vary across the region but have already exceeded 5 percent, the threshold defining concentrated epidemics, in several countries such as Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia. In one area of Pakistan, the infection rate among men who have sex with men has already reached 28 percent. Moreover, by 2008, transmission of HIV via anal sex among men was responsible for more than a quarter of reported cases of HIV in several countries in the region.
28% infection rate? Yikes! There has got to be severe social stress, considering the social milieu.