Airport authorities deport Nigerian passenger believed to have AIDS

Cairo International Airport authorities deported a Nigerian woman thought to be suffering from AIDS on Thursday.

The passenger arrived from Nairobi on a Kenyan airline. Security authorities searched a doll she had in her possession and found medication stashed inside. When asked about it, the passenger said it was to treat AIDS.

The passenger did not object to the decision to deport her, and she headed back to Nairobi on the same plane.

UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, estimates that 9,500 people are HIV-positive in Egypt. Furthermore, UNAIDS’ report, released in December 2011, estimates that around 1,500 women aged 15 and older are infected with the virus. In 2011, approximately 1,000 people died of AIDS in the country, according to the report.

UNAIDS’ report on the HIV epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region shows that while the overall HIV prevalence is still low, an increase in the number of HIV infections since 2001 has vaulted the region into the top two in the world in terms of HIV incidence.

In 2011, Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported that HIV-positive patients were often discriminated against in Egypt's health institutions.

Edited translation from MENA