Yesterday a friend of mine visited from Egypt. He works for a well-known, large, international, very very very respected institute. He told me that in his organization they believe that the situation around HIV-aids in Egypt is desparate. He mentioned figures of 10-15 million people with HIV in Egypt.
I did not believe my ears - official figures speak of 20,000. So I asked again, and he confirmed that in his very respected organization, the estimation is 10-15 million. So I asked again, whether all senior staff agrees about this, and he confirmed.
So why do you not speak about this? 'We would have a massive problem with government, and we are not allowed to.'
He pointed to the army as the major hotspot, the place where HIV is contracted and transferred.
I can still hardly believe the figure. Is this credible? Easy to check, you would think, but no, Egypt does not allow research into this. My friend pointed to the high incidence of Hepatitus C and the many people dying from tuberculosis and similar ailments as confirmation.
But still, phew, is this credible? Problem is, I can assure you, the man is an expert in HIV-aids and he works, as I said, for an almighty credible institute...