Egyptian actress Yousra aims to raise Mideast AIDS awareness
Yousra was named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador to help combat HIV and AIDS in the Middle East
Egyptian film star Yousra has taken up a role with the United Nations to help combat HIV and AIDS in the Middle East, where prevalence is low but growing rapidly.
In an interview Monday in Cairo, where she was named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, she said that the stigma associated with the virus should be fought, and society should be taught to offer sympathy to those affected.
Some 240,000 people live with HIV in the Middle East and North Africa, a region facing a worsening refugee crisis, rising inequality, several humanitarian emergencies and discriminatory laws.
New cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, rose 26 percent in the region between 2000 and 2014, the United Nations says, making MENA one of the areas where it's growing the fastest.