Thursday, October 23, 2003

Hussein Fahmi fights AIDS at AUC

From Al

Egyptian prominent actor Hussein Fahmi, who is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador, held a conference at the American University in Cairo to speak to students about the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Egypt and the Arab world. Hussein stressed that everyone must play a role in educating society about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, and described how the Arab world is not immune to the threats posed by the AIDS pandemic.

According to the Egyptian based daily, Al Ahram, though Egypt has relatively few known cases of HIV/AIDS, Hussein stressed that the time has come to speak out against conservatism which prevents Egyptian society from talking openly about the disease, and explained that people living with AIDS have to first live with the physical and psychological affects of the disease; as their immune systems slowly succumb to the virus, and with the knowledge that they are going to die.

Hussein’s message was clear, stressing that the only way of defeating the disease is through open and honest discussion about the issues – to speak openly about sex, about drug abuse and other behavior which can expose people to the disease. In particular Egyptian youth needs to be aware of the dangers.
The conference is part of the UNDP’s regional HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in the Arab world. The UN estimates that there are 500,000 Arabs living with HIV/AIDS, and UNDP with other UN agencies recognize that the region may be on the verge of a massive AIDS problem unless action is taken now.


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