Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

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Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:08 pm

Women infected with HIV in Egypt face worse stigma than men, creating barriers to AIDS treatment, education and awareness, says the Egyptian Society for Population Studies and Reproductive Health.

The group says AIDS is harder on women as they are wrongly blamed for spreading the sexually transmitted disease while the sexual behavior of men is excused.

Since AIDS was discovered, 78 million people all over the world have contracted the disease, of which 35 to 43 million mostly young have died.

And in the Arab countries, 17,000 die every year, of which 1,800 are children. The spread rate of the disease in the Middle East and North Africa is about 300 percent.

If there is hope to eliminate AIDS in Egypt and the Middle East, ESPSRH says we must first understand the reasons for the phenomenon because they pose a great threat to patients and to society as a whole.

Sawsan al-Sheikh, head of the Egyptian Society for the fight against AIDS in Alexandria, said that more than 75 percent of people living with AIDS in Egypt are 20 to 50 years old. She also said that the spread rate in the total population is less than 0.02 percent, mostly among intravenous drug users. “There are 1,559 patients being treated, including 60 children,” she said.

Dr. Ahmed Khamis, director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in Egypt, said that a study conducted on 500 AIDS patients in five governorates of Egypt showed that 40 percent of them do not disclose their illness and 20 percent had to move to other governorates so that they do not get stigmatized or discriminated against.

“Many of them are ill-treated at home or dismissed from work if they talk about it,” he said, adding that fear of stigma is an obstacle to treatment or to preventing others from contracting the disease.

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A widow with AIDS: I was going to commit suicide had it not been for my children

Shadia, a 32-year-old widow with AIDS, has a 13-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter. Her deceased husband was 20 years older than her. He worked in a nightclub.

“His job got him to know women of different nationalities,” she said. “I thought foreigners only get AIDS because they are sexually liberated, unlike Egyptians or Arabs.”

“I strongly blamed my husband when the doctor told me I had AIDS,” she said. “But I stood by him when he was sick because he was the father of my children. I was happy that my children did not contract the virus.”

“When I knew I had AIDS, I first lived in denial, then I could not sleep or eat,” she said. “I wanted to commit suicide, but who would take care of my children?”

“When my brothers knew, they stopped visiting me. But my father stood by me and never left me,” she said. “I am not afraid now because I know I will go to heaven.”

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Samira: The family of my husband accused me of killing him with witchcraft

Samira, a 30-year-old widow with AIDS, has a boy and three girls aged between 11 and 19 years. She lived with her husband for 16 years. She now lives on govertment welfare of just LE70.

She said her husband was seriously ill and was hospitalized several times, but the doctors could not diagnose his case. So he asked her to bring a sorcerer to find out what he had.

“The witch doctor gave me a scrap of paper with things written on it in red ink. He told me to soak it in water all night and then make my husband drink it in the morning. And when he died, his family accused me of killing him with witchcraft,” she said.

Samira sent her children to live with their grandmother and went to hospital. “The cleaning woman is disgusted at me when she comes to clean my room. I lost weight because I do not eat or drink. I live for no purpose now,” she said.

Source: http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/w ... igma-egypt


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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Dusak » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:02 am

Although it is common knowledge that females can carry and transmit the HIV virus, I think that the male population has to shoulder the main blame. Free sex, unprotected sex, gay sex, all produced by males as they exercise what they see as their God given right to go forth and procreate when, where and as freely as they please. In most cases, as those highlighted here, the innocent women are left to pick up the pieces and live with a shame not of their own doing.
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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:44 am

You will never ever get honest statistics about the sexual behavior of anyone in this country, male or female, outside the relationship of marriage. And considering there is a greater stigma on women in engaging in illicit relationships, then they are never going to admit to them, but that does not mean that they are necessarily any less likely to engage in such relationships.

And if you think there is no stigma on a man infected with HIV here, then you are absolutely delusional.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by newcastle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:24 am

I would have thought that, in the culture of Egypt, multiple sexual partners are more common amongst men than women and therefor they are
the greater vector of HIV transmission.

I agree that a great stigma attaches to both when their status becomes known.

But the consequences for a woman, entirely dependent as many of them are on their family, must be much more serious.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:54 am

It takes two to tango. Who would their partners be then?

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by newcastle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:43 am

Glyphdoctor wrote:It takes two to tango. Who would their partners be then?

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

I'm not suggesting there are no promiscuous women in Egypt.

But men, who can have 4 legitimate sexual partners and any number of 'illegitimate' ones would seem to be more prevalent in the spread of HIV (or any STD's for that matter).

Or are you saying that Egyptian women are, in numbers, just as likely to sleep around as men? I can't imagine they have the opportunity...even if they have the desire.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:35 am

4 Legitimate ones who are all faithful will not lead to sexually transmitted disease. Where you get the idea that illegitimate ones are permitted for men and not women I have no idea. It's not permitted for either. That socially people overlook it for men has nothing to do with law or religion.

I am saying we don't know the true numbers. And that if a girl or a woman is fooling around, one is less likely to know because of social stigma, but social stigma and behavior are two different things. As for opportunity, they probably have just as much opportunity as men, who themselves are the ones sleeping with the women you are saying don't have the opportunity. Why wouldn't they? And where are these men getting the sexually transmitted diseases you are saying they are all transmitting to women? From the air?

Before 2010, the last official statistic on suicides in Egypt was 17 in a year. When the NTSB suggested that the pilot of Egypt Air 990 might have crashed the plane intentionally, Egypt was all up in arms saying no Muslim would ever commit suicide. Because that just wasn't socially acceptable. Of course, this was not true. When my husband first graduated from medical school long before 2010 he worked in a single emergency room that saw at least that number of attempted suicides per month.

The fact is stereotypes and how people want you to see themselves do not necessarily reflect reality.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by newcastle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:13 pm

Glyphdoctor wrote:4 Legitimate ones who are all faithful will not lead to sexually transmitted disease. Where you get the idea that illegitimate ones are permitted for men and not women I have no idea.With respect...I said nothing of the sort regarding "permission" I was merely stating a fact...that(muslim) men can have up to 4 wives with whom to enjoy legally/religiously acceptable sexual relations...whilst women have only one It's not permitted for either. That socially people overlook it for men has nothing to do with law or religion.

I am saying we don't know the true numbers. And that if a girl or a woman is fooling around, one is less likely to know because of social stigma, but social stigma and behavior are two different things. As for opportunity, they probably have just as much opportunity as men, who themselves are the ones sleeping with the women you are saying don't have the opportunity. Why wouldn't they? Because of the way Egyptian society, as I observe it, is structured. The value placed on a woman's honour etc. If you are saying that Egyptian women are, and have the opportunity to be , as "loose" as their menfolk - I don't believe it And where are these men getting the sexually transmitted diseases you are saying they are all transmitting to women? From the air? Where any particular STD originated from is neither here nor there. How it transmits through the population is what I thought we were discussing.

Before 2010, the last official statistic on suicides in Egypt was 17 in a year. When the NTSB suggested that the pilot of Egypt Air 990 might have crashed the plane intentionally, Egypt was all up in arms saying no Muslim would ever commit suicide. Because that just wasn't socially acceptable. Of course, this was not true. When my husband first graduated from medical school long before 2010 he worked in a single emergency room that saw at least that number of attempted suicides per month.That Egypt is in denial on many issues does not surprise me in the least. What does surprise me is that you appear to be saying that Egyptian women are, and have the opportunity to be, as promiscuous as the men.....but if that's what you're saying...well, we'll have to disagree

The fact is stereotypes and how people want you to see themselves do not necessarily reflect reality.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:34 pm

newcastle wrote:
But men, who can have 4 legitimate sexual partners and any number of 'illegitimate' ones would seem to be more prevalent in the spread of HIV (or any STD's for that matter).

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:36 pm

If the men are transmitting sexually transmitted diseases to their wives, from whom are those men acquiring these infections in the first place?

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by newcastle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:54 pm

Glyphdoctor wrote:If the men are transmitting sexually transmitted diseases to their wives, from whom are those men acquiring these infections in the first place?
Men will acquire STD's from women, and occasionally other men. Women will acquire STD's only from men (give or take an extremely unlikely transmission between two women indulging in lesbian sex). I'm disregarding the spread of STD's through the medium of intravenous drug use, transfusions etc.

Again .....I'm not following your argument...in fact I'm not sure what your argument is.

Where, and how, any particular STD first entered the population is "history". How it is spreading is surely of more concern and it seems to me that, numerically, men are the bigger culprits....with a greater opportunity to transmit the infection to a new host. I accept you disagree on this.

Let's leave it at that :lol:

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:33 pm

newcastle wrote:
Glyphdoctor wrote:If the men are transmitting sexually transmitted diseases to their wives, from whom are those men acquiring these infections in the first place?
Men will acquire STD's from women, and occasionally other men.
Exactly. And who are those women? And how do those women acquire the diseases?

I can understand why you would assume that women don't have opportunities, because it's not like they have total freedom to have an affair with ANY man openly, so you should not expect that these relationships take on the same form in the same settings as they might in a more liberal country.

This is a family friendly forum and I am not one to tell salacious tales either, but suffice it to say I know about enough cases to draw the conclusion that most Egyptian females in this country could have the opportunity with SOME willing man if she so chose to do so. The cases I know of involve both married and unmarried individuals of both sexes, both Muslim and Christian, and the males are both Egyptian and foreign. This goes on in all classes with people from all regions of the country. It's just generally not talked about openly. That's all.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by newcastle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:03 pm

Interesting.....and not something I've ever imagined with regard to this part of the world :o

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Dusak » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:47 pm

I would of thought that there would be some sort of figures for the female population as they have had to have blood tests for STD's and HIV for some years now, as the men do, before the marriage can take place. I don't know if this is also required with Coptic marriages. I presume that you referred to me as totally delusional saying that all men were responsible for these problems as it followed my post. This is not what I said, what I did say was the male population as a whole, not just in Egypt, but worldwide had to shoulder most of the blame. It is, so I'm told, quite common for a lot of women to have a bit on the side in this country, but not common enough to rapidly increase the problem.
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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:10 pm

Newcastle-Judging by the big focus on old European ladies and their young gigolos, you would think they were the only ones getting any action and that every foreign man in Egypt was gay or celibate as a monk. By complete accident, I discovered that is definitely untrue.

One day I came across a mention somewhere of a restaurant in Cairo serving a certain cuisine in some list of restaurants. I was interested in knowing more about this restaurant as I was considering trying it and so I googled its name.

I found a forum where it was mentioned and quickly discovered the restaurant was a front for other activities besides serving food. And also learned that this forum is where all the English speaking men in Egypt get together to swap notes on their local female...companions.

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by newcastle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:18 pm

Glyphdoctor wrote:Newcastle-Judging by the big focus on old European ladies and their young gigolos, you would think they were the only ones getting any action and that every foreign man in Egypt was gay or celibate as a monk. By complete accident, I discovered that is definitely untrue.

One day I came across a mention somewhere of a restaurant in Cairo serving a certain cuisine in some list of restaurants. I was interested in knowing more about this restaurant as I was considering trying it and so I googled its name.

I found a forum where it was mentioned and quickly discovered the restaurant was a front for other activities besides serving food. And also learned that this forum is where all the English speaking men in Egypt get together to swap notes on their local female...companions.
Even more interesting :o

The places you end up in when you're just looking for a - ahem! - "certain cuisine" :)))

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Brian Yare » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:27 pm

It is late at night, and I will probably upset most of you, but stigma and style are female features designed to accumulate pollen and get it to the ovaries! :wi :wi :wi

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by newcastle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:39 pm

I think you're looking to be pistil-whipped :roll:

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:20 pm

I'd think and can't imagine at all why there wouldn't be Egyptian female prostitutes in Egypt. I'd say (and I'm guess-timating here) that the average prostitute could service 1 client/hour (probably more - guess it depends on lots of factors I'll leave to the imagination). This does put the number of men coming in contact with 1 woman at quite a high number and if this 1 prostitute happens to be infected I can see that she'd spread this infection far and wide as I highly doubt - ok there are not - public testing facilities in Egypt (cause it doesn't happen there - yeah right!)

That these men then return home to the little woman/women and transmit what they've picked up is where these stories derive from. However if one considers student populations and any other venue where men and women are just meeting each other then I'd say fair game they'd mirror populations found in other areas of the world.

On the other hand if one is talking about the very conservative and traditional families found in the villages where everybody knows everybody I'd think it would be much more difficult for illicit relationships to happen - but not impossible. "Where there is will there is a way."

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Re: Women with AIDS face stigma in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:01 am

I say a "certain cuisine" because I wouldn't want to facilitate any men on here trying to find the site! And there are other reasons totally unrelated to the subject of this thread that it would just be better to be vague.

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