World Aids Day
The 1st of December of every year is the World Aids Day. This day passes in Palestine and most of the Arab World (I assume) without being given its due significance. The disease which claimed more than 3 million live last year (according to wikipedia), is virtually non-existent in Arab countries. Due to a very conservative culture the incidence of AIDS is probably the lowest in the World. Since the early 1980's half a million cases have been reported, in a population of over 200 million this makes an incidence of less than 0.25%.
The official figures might sound reassuring, however, they might not reflect the full picture. The stigma associated with AIDS is even worse in the ARAB countries than the rest of the world. This stigma discourages many from testing or reporting their cases. This definately affects the progress towards achieving Goal 6 of the Millenium Development Goals of halting and reversing the spread of HIV.
The World AIDS Day is intended to increase awareness of the disease and stop the prejudice against those infected with the virus. With the increased sexual activity of Arab youths, AIDS awareness should be placed somewhere high on the development agenda of governments and organisations working in the field of health in order not to lose out on this front, because I believe this is the only indicator where we are doing better than much of the other developing countries. We should not lose out.
(Ribon uploaded from wikipedia.org)