HIV/AIDS among Palestinian Arabs

S. Maayan, . Shinar ., M. Aefani, M. Soughayer, R. E. El Khoudary, G. Rahav, N. Manny

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6 Scopus citations


We studied 24 HIV-positive Palestinians who presented for medical care in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip between 1987 and 1992. Three individuals, all males, were detected by blood bank screening. An additional 21 individulas (12 males, 7 females, 2 infants) were diagnosed as having HIV infection. Fifteen of 24 had full-blown AIDS - 11/24 (46%) were expatriates; there were 4 heterosexuals, 5 transfusion recipients and 6 homosexuals, together comprising 79% of the individuals whose risk group was known. As compared with Israelis, Palestinians presented for medical treatment at a later stage of HIV infection. We also studied the incidence of HIV infection among Palestinian blood donors between 1987 and 1992. The incidence analysis was based on HIV screening at seven blood banks of major hospitals in the West Bank, at the Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, at Hadassah University Hospital (Palestinian blood donors only) and at two blood banks in the Gaza Strip. Demographic features were derived from the health department of the West Bank and from the AIDS clinic at Hadassah Hospital. Approximately 50,000 Palestinians were screened at the blood banks. Only three, all males, were detected as HIV seropositive, giving an HIV overall cumulative incidence of 0.006%. This figure was similar to the incidence among 500,000 Israeli donors (0.008%; NS) during that period. Although the low HIV incidence at the blood banks is encouraging, the negligible number of HIV seropositives and the presentation at a late clinical stage points to a deficiency in AIDS tracing and in access to specialized AIDS care in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The small overall number of cases precludes any definite conclusion as to trends in the epidemiology of AIDS in the West Bank and Gaza. However, the receipt of contaminated transfusions and the return of infected expatriates seem to be important features of AIDS in the West Bank and Gaza.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number10 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Blood bank screening
  • HIV
  • Middle East
  • Palestinians


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