Tolerance of minorities (religious, sexual or otherwise) remains low in Egypt and other Middle Eastern and North African countries. People living with HIV are among the groups facing most discrimination. The virus is associated with stigmatized behaviors, such as sex between men and drug use. Many people with HIV are thus forced into the shadows, denied treatment, at risk of abuse and imprisonment. IDLO has been working with UNAIDS and local partners to help hundreds of people living with, and affected by, HIV in Egypt to access health and legal services. On a smaller scale, similar work has taken place in Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco.
Beyond the direct benefit to individuals, addressing HIV-related discrimination will help keep HIV prevalence low in the region by encouraging people at risk of infection to access prevention and care services.