Social stigma an obstacle in fight against HIV

ABU DHABI — Social stigma associated with the HIV/Aids still poses a major challenge to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in their fight against the disease in the Arab world, according to a senior United Nations official who spoke to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a three-day workshop themed ‘Arab Women Creating the Future’.

By Nada S. Mussallam (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Mon 26 Nov 2007, 8:58 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:40 AM

Organised by the UNDP, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Japan Women In Development Fund (JWIDF), the three-day workshop, which commenced yesterday, aims at exploring underlying causes that fuel the HIV epidemic in the Arab world.

“The social system in the Arab states remains a big challenge to curbing the HIV. The virus in itself is weak but the social stigma linked to AIDS is far stronger,” said Dr Ehab El Kharrat, consultant and senior technical adviser to the United Nations Development Programme’s HIV/Aids Regional Programme in the Arab States. Dr Kharrat said it is high time effective mechanisms were adopted to face challenges posed by the disease in the Arab countries.

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