HIV rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Middle East and North Africa regions (MENA) are on the rise, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine and reported by aidsmap. Little is known about the MSM population throughout MENA because homosexuality is punishable by death in five of the countries and highly stigmatized in the rest. However, researchers found that HIV prevalence was as high as 28 percent of MSM in Pakistan and that MSM represented more than 50 percent of new HIV cases in Lebanon in 2008. More than 80 percent of MSM had heard of condoms, but only 30 to 50 percent knew that condoms protect against HIV—and many had difficulties obtaining them.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.