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HIV-Positive Men
Sentenced to Prison in Egypt

HIV-Positive Men
Sentenced to Prison in Egypt

The three-year prison sentences imposed on five HIV-positive men in Cairo were upheld May 28 as part of Egypt's attempt to tighten restrictions on people living with HIV/AIDS.

The three-year prison sentences imposed on five HIV-positive men in Cairo were upheld May 28 as part of Egypt's attempt to tighten restrictions on people living with HIV/AIDS, according to a press release from Human Rights Watch. The five men, along with four others from previous arrests, have been imprisoned because of the widespread belief that they are "a danger to public health."

"To send these men to prison because of their HIV status is inhuman and unjust," said HRW's Joe Amon. "Police, prosecutors, and doctors have already abused them and violated their most basic rights, and now fear has trumped justice in a court of law."

In the past seven months, 12 men have been arrested in Egypt under suspicion that they were HIV-positive. The Egyptian government detained all of the men for several months, tested their HIV status (without their consent), and administered multiple medical examinations that have now been deemed torturous by Human Rights Watch. Three of the men were released after months in detention because their HIV test results came back negative. The other nine have all been given prison terms.

"Putting these men in prison serves neither justice nor public health," Amon said. "The Egyptian government and the country's medical profession must act to end this campaign of intolerance." (The Advocate)

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