The social taboos surrounding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in countries such as Egypt make it difficult to hold open discussions on prevention and treatment. As a result, HIV-positive people are reluctant to seek medical care, infected partners are not treated, and doctors are hesitant to offer advice about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
To address this challenge, Egypt's Ministry of Health, in partnership with PEPFAR, has embarked upon a comprehensive program to prevent the spread of STIs, including HIV. The program created national guidelines for STI management, training manuals for frontline service providers, and a chart that details common infections and nationally-available treatments. It also has put in place educational programs addressing high-risk behaviors and prevention and providing information about voluntary counseling and testing services, including a confidential hotline. The program established pilot clinics to offer these services.
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