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Egypt Police blood test 177 prisoners just for being near two HIV positive gay men in jail

Egypt Police blood test 177 prisoners just for being near two HIV positive gay men in jail

177 inmates in a police jail have been tested for HIV after it was discovered that two HIV positive gay men were sharing the jail with them.

There is no suggestion that the men were having sex with other prisoners, but despite that, authorities at Al-Haram Police Department ordered the transfer of the 177 prisoners to the Egyptian Ministry of Health’s central laboratories so that they could be tested.

Authorities became alarmed after one of the men’s sister informed them that her brother was being treated for AIDS.

He was one of two alleged homosexuals arrested in an apartment in Giza.

When the other arrested man was tested for HIV he was found to be positive for the virus as well.

Al-Haram police say it was necessary to test all the prisoners because they had been in proximity with the two men.

However more than proximity is needed for the HIV virus to be transmitted as it is spread by blood to blood or semen to blood contact.

They also said that an investigation will be held to find out why the two gay men were put into the general population of the prison when they had HIV instead of being held in isolation.

Homosexuality is not a specific crime in Egyptian law. However ‘debauchery’ is and gay men have in recent years often been charged with that crime when discovered by the authorities.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights says at least 150 people have been arrested on charges of ‘debauchery’ in the 18 months since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power after the military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood lead government of Mohammed Morsi.