What is AIDS?
AIDS is the advanced case results from infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV primarily attacks the immune system cells that defend the body against any infections. AIDS is the late stage of infection, which is consistent with the evolution of the situation and the onset of symptoms.
Being HIV-positive, or having HIV disease, is not the same as having AIDS. Many people are HIV-positive but don’t get sick for many years. As HIV disease continues, it slowly wears down the immune system up to fifteen years, during this time virus multiplies in the body and the infected person can pass the infection to others.
Ways of transmission
Infection can be transmitted through infected blood, semen or vaginal secretions carrying the virus. Can also occur from infection through unprotected sexual relations and use of unclean needles contaminated with the virus also can transfer the infection from mother living with the virus to her fetus during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
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Our community context:
Egypt is classified as a low level HIV/AIDS epidemic, with an estimated adult prevalence rate of less than 0.01%. Nonetheless, there is evidence that HIV is present; all modes of transmission have been reported; the populations associated with HIV globally are known in Egypt [e.g., female sex workers (FSWs), men who havesex with men (MSM), and injection drug users (IDUs)]; and links from these high-risk groups to the general population have been documented.
Systematic monitoring of the epidemic in Egypt is far from complete. Surveillance systems remain inadequate in their coverage of at-risk groups and thus fail to reflect risk behaviors or provide incidence and prevalence rates. In addition, the adoption of preventive practices is very limited, and the participation of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and civil society in the HIV/AIDS response is still nascent. Despite some progress, general attitudes, institutions, and laws do not facilitate the implementation of an expanded response. The first step in addressing the spread of HIV/AIDS is to recognize the presence of the disease and the sociocultural, political, and economic patterns that fuel and bear the burden of its impact
Through our efforts in responding to HIV epidemic over the previous 4 years, we mainly focus on raising young people awareness through providing basic information and life skills adopting youth to youth interactive approach as well as community mobilization through partnerships built with different local NGOs.
Our hope is to unite all different scattered efforts exerted to break the stigma and discrimination linked to HIV/AIDS in our community as well as to best advocate for AIDS response in Egypt, and we hope we create meaningful youth-adult partnerships in our region.
Is it really needed??
Young girl from our previous training said “before this training, I didn’t know about the ways of HIV transmission, I thought it is only due to the anal sex”
The Egyptian Demographic Health Surveillance 2010 stated that only 7 percent of women (15-49Y) in Egypt were classified as having correct knowledge about AIDS. During the previous year we started our efforts with 15 local NGOs from 3 governorates tackling their knowledge around HIV/AIDS in order to encourage them to be able to introduce HIV activities/ programs in their NGOs consequently to their local communities, all of those communities are slum poor communities with high prevalence of sexual harassment and drug abuse, all of those indicators show the spread of high risk practices that lead to HIV/AIDS.