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Arabs and Aids

Arab countries argue that Islamic practices protect them from HIV. How true is this?

By Shereen El Feki   June 2006

When my father was growing up in Cairo in the 1940s, he got hooked on Sherlock Holmes—thanks to monthly instalments of Reader’s Digest. One of his favourite exchanges was the famous “curious incident of the dog in the night-time” from “Silver Blaze.” The dog, of course, did nothing, which was what was so curious.

I was reminded of my father and Holmes when looking at statistics on the global Aids epidemic. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of HIV, the virus which causes Aids. According to UNAids, there are an estimated 40m people infected with HIV around…

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