HIV/AIDS prevalence in Egypt remains low; however the number of reported cases is rising steadily. In fact, the Middle East and North Africa is witnessing the second fastest growing epidemic in the world after Eastern Europe.
HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence. Those affected by the virus can live long healthy lives provided they discover their infection early (through testing) and seek appropriate medical counseling and treatment.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for ‘human immunodeficiency virus’. HIV is a retrovirus that infects cells of the human immune system (mainly CD4 positive T cells and macrophages—key components of the cellular immune system), and destroys or impairs their function. Infection with this virus results in the progressive depletion of the immune system, leading to ‘immune deficiency’.
AIDS stands for ‘acquired immunodeficiency syndrome’ and describes the collection of symptoms and infections associated with acquired deficiency of the immune system. Infection with HIV has been established as the underlying cause of AIDS. The level of HIV and specific immune cells in the body and the appearance of certain infections are used as indicators that HIV infection has progressed to AIDS
3 Where is HIV found?
HIV can be found in almost all body fluids, however it can only be transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.
4 Are mosquito bites a risk of infection with HIV?
HIV is not spread by mosquitoes or other biting insects. Even if the virus enters a mosquito or another sucking or biting insect, it cannot reproduce in insects. Since the insect cannot be infected with HIV, it cannot transmit HIV to the next human it feeds on or bites.
5 Should I be concerned about being infected with HIV while playing sport?
There is no evidence that HIV can be transmitted while playing a sport.
6 Can I get HIV from casual contact (shaking hands, hugging, using a toilet, drinking from the same glass as someone who is HIV-infected, or being close to an infected person who is sneezing or coughing)?
HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day contact in social settings, schools or in the workplace. You cannot be infected by shaking someone’s hand, by hugging someone, by using the same toilet or drinking from the same glass as an HIV-infected person, or by being exposed to coughing or sneezing by an infected person
7 How can HIV be transmitted?
HIV is transmitted through (anal or vaginal) and oral sex where condoms are not used or are used incorrectly; blood transfusion; the sharing of contaminated needles whether in health care settings or for drug injection; and, from mother to infant during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
8 What is ‘safer’ sex?
No sexual act is 100% safe.
Safer sex involves taking precautions that decrease the potential of transmitting or acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, while having sex. Using condoms correctly and consistently during sex is considered safer sex. The UN position is that when used properly, there is unequivocal scientific evidence that condoms dramatically reduce HIV transmission. Safer sex also includes limiting the number of sexual partners and testing for HIV.
9 What is a female condom?
The female condom is the first and only female-controlled contraceptive barrier method. The female condom is a strong, soft, transparent polyurethane sheath inserted in the vagina before sexual intercourse. It entirely lines the vagina and, therefore, with correct and consistent use, provides protection against both pregnancy and STIs. The female condom has no known side-effects or risks and does not require a prescription or the intervention of a health-care provider.
10 Where can I get information about HIV/AIDS and anonyms testing and counseling in Egypt?
The Ministry of Health established a hotline for HIV/AIDS which guarantees anonymity. The HIV/AIDS Hotline is (3152801/3152802) and there is a toll free number: 0-800-700-8000
You can also read more about HIV/AIDS in several languages including Arabic on