Concerns about the health and safety of people living with HIV in Egypt
The Know More Campaign team expresses its deep concern as we receive testimonies from both our on-the-field team and local people living with HIV that for 2 weeks the anti-retroviral drug “Dolutegravir- dolutégravir ” has not been available at the Cairo Abaseya hospital, causing serious risks to the health and life of people living with HIV.
It is a known fact that HIV affects all kinds of people, no matter their age, gender, race or social level, yet it is also known that the Egyptian government has a terrible record of persecution of people living with HIV. We urge the Egyptian government to stop stigmatization and discrimination towards people living with HIV in Egypt and to raise awareness about the virus and its prevention through various media.
We are very concerned that the lack of adequate health care for people living with HIV, who are already stigmatized and discriminated, (like centers for HIV testing and counseling, distribution of prevention tools like Prep and Pep, etc.) will only lead to the continuous spreading of HIV and AIDS in the country.
Besides, we want to underline that improved access to antiretroviral drugs is more complex than just the availability of these drugs. This requires ensuring the participation of people living with HIV in the full range of services that enable them to receive HIV testing, access to care services and treatment allowing them to maintain the virus at an undetectable rate.
Furthermore, we ask the Egyptian government to respect article 18 of the Constitution that states: “Every citizen is entitled to health and to comprehensive health care with quality criteria. The state guarantees to maintain and support public health facilities that provide health services to the people, and work on enhancing their efficiency and their fair geographical distribution.(…) Denying any form of medical treatment to any human in emergency or life-threatening situations is a crime.” Also, we remind the Egyptian government to respect the various regional and international conventions that it has ratified.
Therefore, the Egyptian authorities must assume their responsibility and immediately provide adequate retro-viral treatment to those in needs, ensure that this situation does not repeat again and hold those responsible for this failure.
Act with us by:
* Urging the Egyptian authorities to urgently provide the necessary treatment, ensure that this does not repeat in the future, and hold those responsible.
* Appealing to the Egyptian authorities to allow and reopen the HIV testing and counseling centers from civil society organizations.
• Calling on the Ministry of Health to take all necessary measures to combat HIV without stigmatization nor discrimination towards the people living with HIV
The Know More Campaign team
11 March 2019