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Home > Countries and Regions > Middle East and North Africa
Updated June 2011
Regional Overview
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Epidemiology and Trends
Health and Development Profiles
Policy Reports and Papers
Provider Education and Training
International Organizations
Other Information Sources
Comprehensive Indicator Report
Country Profiles
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Palestinian Authority
Saudi Arabia
Syrian Arab Republic
United Arab Emirates
Western Sahara
HIV/AIDS in Middle East and North Africa
Population, 2013459,000,000
People living with HIV/AIDS, 2012260,000
Women (aged 15+) with HIV/AIDS, 2012100,000
Children with HIV/AIDS, 201220,000
Adult HIV prevalence (%), 20120.1
AIDS deaths, 201217,000
nd = No data
Source: Population Reference Bureau & UNAIDS
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Regional Overview

Abstracted from the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS, November 2010..

Epidemiology and Trends

An estimated 460,000 [400,000-530,000] people were living with HIV in the Middle East and North Africa at the end of 2009, up from 180,000 [150,000-200,000] in 200. The number of people newly infected has also increased over the last decade. There were 75,000 [61,000-92,000] people newly infected in 2009, more than twice the number (36,000 [32,000-42,000]) in 2001. AIDS-related deaths have nearly tripled: from 8,300 [6,300-11,000] in 2001 to 23,000 [20,000-27,000] at the end of 2009. Reliable data on the epidemics in the Middle East and North Africa remain in short supply, creating difficulty in tracking recent trends with confidence. The available evidence points to increases in HIV prevalence, new HIV infections, and AIDS-related deaths.

The HIV prevalence is low in most countries, with the exceptions of Djibouti and southern Sudan, where HIV is spreading in the general population, and pregnant women using antenatal services have a HIV prevalence of more than 1%. The Islamic Republic of Iran is believed to have the largest number of people who inject drugs in the region, and its HIV epidemic is centered mainly within this population group. An estimated 14% of people who inject drugs countrywide were living with HIV in 2007.

The extremely high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (80%) found among detained people who inject drugs in Tehran indicates considerable potential for the spread of HIV among and beyond people who inject drugs. It has been estimated that close to half (45%) of the Iranian prison population is incarcerated for drug-related offences. Exposure to contaminated drug-injecting equipment features in the epidemics of Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Oman, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Tunisia.

Health and Development Profiles
AIDS Epidemic Update Regional Summary - Middle East and North Africa
UNAIDS, April 16, 2008. [PDF, 176K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Fact Sheet: AIDS Epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa
UNAIDS, December 2006. [PDF, 46K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Arab Human Development Report 2004
UNDP, April 2005. Also available in Arabic and French.
Policy Reports and Papers
Rapport de l'atelier Régional de Réflexion sur les Programmes de Prévention des IST/SIDA Ciblant les Hommes qui ont des Relations Sexuelles avec d'autres Hommes au Maghreb et au Liban (MALE/HSH)
International HIV/AIDS Alliance, December 2006. [PDF, 841K]
Behind the Veil of a Public Health Crisis: HIV/AIDS in the Muslim World
Laura M. Kelley, Nicholas Eberstadt. National Bureau of Asian Research, June 2005. [PDF, 828K]
HIV and Islam: Is HIV Prevalence Lower among Muslims?
Gray PB. Soc Sci Med. 2004 May;58(9):1751-6. [PDF, 132K]
HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa: A Primer
Sandy Sufian. Middle East Report, Winter 2004.
HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa: The Costs of Inaction
Carol Jenkins, David A.Robalino. World Bank, 2003.
Women's Reproductive Health in the Middle East and North Africa
Farzaneh Roudi-Fahimi. Population Reference Bureau, February 2003. [PDF, 234K]
Risks and Macro-Economic Impacts of HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa: Why Waiting to Intervene Can Be Costly
David A. Robalino, Carol Jenkins, Karim El Maroufi. World Bank, July 2002.
Provider Education and Training
HIV and AIDS Terminology Guide and Glossary
English with Arabic translations. UNICEF, UNAIDS. [PDF, 1.3MB]
Sexually Transmitted and Other Reproductive Tract Infections:a Guide to Essential Practice
World Health Organization, Regional Office of the Eastern Mediterranean. Table of contents in Arabic. 2007 [PDF, 649K]
HIV, Health, and Your Community: A Guide for Action
Hesperian Foundation, 2001. In Arabic.
International Organizations
Global Network of Researchers on HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa
GNR-MENA serves as a forum for scientific exchange, debate and networking for researchers from around the world who are interested in studying, better understanding, and effectively responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa region.
World Health Organization - Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Focal Points and National AIDS Programme Managers in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
World Bank MENA Country Briefs
Other Information Sources
Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for the Islamic Countries (SESRTCIC)
Also known as the as the Ankara Centre, SESRTCIC collects, processes and disseminates socio-economic statistics and information; conducts research; and organizes training programs in selected fields.