A cycling event is planned for Friday in Cairo in celebration of international HIV/AIDS awareness month (December), during which Egypt is attempting to raise awareness with a nationwide advocacy campaign.
The campaign, which has proven successful in previous years in reducing the stigma surrounding the disease, involves efforts by the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Egypt, the National AIDS Program, and the Ministry of Health and Population.
The cycling event aims to increase awareness among young people as well as increase participation by civil society organisations and engage youth-led organisations and initiatives such as IFMSA and Y-peer.
Participants in the event will meet at 7am in front of Almaza garden in Heliopolis, where they will register, warm up, and be informed of the event’s guidelines.
The event will include the cycling competition, a speech on HIV and the campaign's goals, and the announcement of the competition's winners.
According to WHO statistics, number of people living with HIV globally currently is 36.7 million.
The latest statistics issued from UNAIDS Egypt in 2014 indicate that the number of confirmed cases of HIV in Egypt stands at nearly 8,800, though there are estimated to be at least as many as 11,000.
Though affecting less than one percent of the population, thus rendering Egypt a low-prevalence country, challenges remain surrounding health education and social stigma about HIV/AIDS.