Surprising story from The New York Times about a study published in the journal PLoS Medicine that documents a surge in AIDS cases in Muslim countries. Low condom use and the secrecy associated with homosexuality get the blame. From the NYT:
About 2 to 3 percent of men in the region have sex with other men, consistent with global averages, the study found. But condom use is low, gay and bisexual prostitution is common, and many married men hide their bisexuality and risk infecting their wives. In some countries, even male prostitutes often marry for appearances’ sake.
Because of religious taboos, accurate statistics on some aspects of health are hard to get from Middle Eastern governments. For example, international health authorities say that the world’s highest rates of birth defects are in Muslim countries where cousins are encouraged to marry but that governments are reluctant to admit it.
Here is the full report from PLoS Medicine.