File - AIDS stickers are distributed in AUB during a campaign marking World AIDS Day at the campus in Beirut, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Despite the rise in HIV cases in the region, Lebanon has remained at a plateau for the past 10 years in terms of the number of new cases of the infection, largely due to better access to education and protective resources relative to its neighbors, experts said Monday."The only trend now is an increase in MSM [men having sex with men] and a decrease in age," said Nakib.He attributes the rise in HIV/AIDS rates among young people to high risk behavior among 18-25-year-olds. Health Ministry statistics from 2013 show that 60 percent of the cumulative reported cases in 2013 have HIV, while 12 percent have contracted AIDS. Of the 1,671 new and existing HIV/AIDS cases, 90 percent were sexually transmitted, and 45 percent of those occurred from homosexual behavior. The ratio of men to women with HIV/AIDS is 8:2, said Nakib. While HIV/AIDS numbers have remained steady over the past 10 years, Nakib expects prevalence to become more concentrated among the most vulnerable population: men who have sex with men.
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