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Arab religious leaders tackle AIDS head-on

At least 80 prominent religious leaders from Arab countries signed a declaration that will act as a foundation for tackling HIV/AIDS in Cairo on Monday.

"What we have achieved today is revolutionary. I am very happy and proud to be an Arab woman working in this region," the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) director of the HIV/AIDS regional programme in Arab states, Khadija Moalla, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

After years of resistance due to religious and social stigma associated with HIV and AIDS in the Arab world, the declaration is a cornerstone for action.

The pandemic is a sensitive issue in predominantly Arab countries, like Sudan, where most religious leaders opt only to urge for abstinence and faithfulness as a preventative measures.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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