People who know they are HIV positive in Lebanon keep very quiet about the matter to avoid becoming social outcasts.AIDS is taboo. Anyone suspected of having the disease risks total rejection by their friends, family and colleagues at work.Sara, a 40-year-old office worker in Beirut, knows all about that. She has been living with AIDS for the past 15 years and manages to keep going with the help of life-prolonging anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs. But the only person she has told about her condition is her sister… more here.
Statistics regarding the number of HIV-positive people in Lebanon are incomplete and unreliable because of the negative attitude that surrounds it. However, UNAIDS estimated that there were 2,800 people living with the HIV virus at the end of 2003, and that the real number is even three times more. What is worse is that the majority of persons with the virus -about three quarters – are not receiving treatment.
HIV awareness is still in its primitive stages here, this is why awareness campaigns are necessary. HIV patients are discriminated against at work at in the society, so some simply do not seek help, preventing them from having access to health care. Today patients with HIV can expect to live long and well because doctors have learned to combine drugs into regimens that successfully attack the virus at multiple places in its life cycle.
Some ngo’s and other organizations are doing a lot in the area of campaigns of awarness. The ministry of health has proposed laws in the interests of the patients. Awarness forums at universities and in schools and other community based activities are taking place, but a lot is still needed on the ground to change the people’s attitude.
Help fight AIDS by spreading awarness about this killer disease.