Update to EGY20206.E of 24 March 1995 on the treatment of homosexuals; whether the treatment of a Jewish homosexual would be different; and whether there are services available for persons who are HIV- positive (April 1995 to January 1999) [EGY31079.E]

No reports could be found on the treatment of Egyptians Jews among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In July 1998, Rose Al-Youssef, Egypt's most popular weekly magazine, stated that the country's vice police should take action against homosexuals after their meeting places were identified in a gay life guide on the Internet (DPA 26 July 1998). Rose Al-Youssef stated that the guide should be used by the vice police "to track the perverts down." The magazine also added that "In every society there are homosexuals...but we are used to them staying in the dark, suffering from their psychological, religious and social perversion and keeping their shame covered." In the DPA report, the magazine suggests that the police should monitor the cafés, hotels, health clubs, bars and public squares identified in the Internet guide. The report also adds that homosexuality is legally banned in Egypt.

However, according to the GLBT Human Rights Annual Report 97-98, the legal status of homosexuality in Egypt is not mentioned in the country's laws (ILGA Bulletin Issue 3/1998, 9).

In reference to whether Egypt provides services for persons who are HIV-positive, a 5 November 1998 Egypt Today report offers the following information:

Caritas Egypt, a non-government organization, plans to launch a two-year program with the Ministry of Social Affairs to train over 700 educators in matters of AIDS prevention and sex education. Caritas hopes to raise the funds to open Egypt's very first confidential and anonymous AIDS-testing and counselling facility.

There are 107 public hospitals in Egypt with staff trained in caring for AIDS patients, including the Abbassiya Fever Hospital, which has six dedicated beds for persons suffering from AIDS. Each public hospital has at least three doctors and three nurses who can attend to AIDS patients, whereas private hospitals have no trained staff at all to treat them.

The report states that for those who suffer from AIDS in Egypt, "readily available treatments lag far behind those in other countries," and adds that the government "does not officially allow the import of, or subsidize the cost of, the life-prolonging combination antiviral therapy, which reduces the amount of virus in the body and delays the onset of AIDS. While treatment for opportunistic infections (diseases related to AIDS) is available and free at public hospitals, the cost of the new combination of the three drugs which are widely available in other countries, is deemed too high to be covered by government resources." Furthermore, General Manager of the Abbassiya Fever Hospital, Dr. Sultan, states that Egypt has no antiviral drugs to combat the disease, and according to the report, the most advanced medical treatment for AIDS is available only to those who can afford them.

Please consult the attached Egypt Today report for additional information on the types of services and programs available for persons who are suffering from AIDS.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 26 July 1998. "Cairo Weekly Rings Alarm Against Public Gay Life in Egypt." (NEXIS)

Egypt Today [Cairo]. 5 November 1998. Abdalla F. Hassan. "AIDS: Are you at Risk?" (NEXIS)

ILGA Bulletin [Brussels]. Issue 3/1998. "GLBT Human Rights Annual Report 97-98."


Egypt Today [Cairo]. 5 November 1998. Abdalla F. Hassan. "AIDS: Are you at Risk?" (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

IGLHRC Action Alert [San Francisco]. 1996-1998.

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. January 1996. Islamic World: Country Packets Supporting Documentation for Asylum Claims.

Sexuality and Eroticism Among Males in Moslem Societies. 1992. Edited by Arno Schmitt and Jehoeda Sofer. London: Harrington Press.

Electronic Sources: IRB Databases, REFWORLD, Internet and WNC.