United Nations Development Program Announces New Arab HIV/AIDS Initiative
The United Nations Development Program on Monday announced plans to work with 17 countries in the Arab region to increase awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Al-Bawaba News reports. The new initiative will establish a regional network of "civil society organizations, empower the press to address" HIV/AIDS issues and consider the impact population movement on the spread of the disease, according to UNDP. UNAIDS estimates that 500,000 people in the Arab region have HIV/AIDS, with approximately 80,000 new infections occuring in 2001. The primary mode of transmission in the region is through sexual intercourse, according to the Saudi Press Agency. Zahir Jamal of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States said, "While the Arab region is generally regarded as a low-prevalence region [for HIV/AIDS], this is no reason for complacency. The region must ensure that an appropriate level of response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is in place" (Al-Bawaba News, 11/5).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.