Knowledge Note

The HIV pandemic in the Middle East and North Africa (MNA) region continues as one of the most devastating health crises ever. UNAIDS and WHO estimate that in 2009, 76,000 people were newly infected with infection in MNA (as defined by UNAIDS) and 24,000 people died of HIV-related causes in this year. The recent regional HIV/AIDS epidemiological synthesis report entitled Characterizing the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa: Time for Strategic Action, provides the scientific basis for the policy recommendations detailed here and provides policy makers with an overview of the specific character of the HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) epidemic in the MNA region. The report also sets out policy and programming recommendations that respond to the epidemiological and demographic contours of the HIV epidemic in the region, and the conclusions drawn from it can potentially be used as the basis for further research and policy development at the national level. Policy is variously discussed in this report both as a conceptual approach to HIV/AIDS prevention programming and as the concrete form of the programming itself. It offers examples of best practice, makes recommendations on where to target resources and funding, and outlines the most effective strategies in HIV/AIDS prevention. All the information presented in this policy report is based on the comprehensive research, findings, and recommendations recorded in the synthesis report.

About the Presenters

Laith Abu-Raddad

Francisca Ayodeji Akala

Iris Semini

Gabriele Riedner

David Wilson and Ousama Tawil