Gay Life in Egypt
Ninety percent of Egypt's population is Muslim (mostly Sunni), traditionally known for their religious intolerance towards gays. Consensual homosexual sex is considered a "practice of debauchery" and punishable under Egyptian law, although not explicitly stated in the penal code. According to Human Rights Watch, some men are tortured and coerced by police to sign statements of homosexuality.
HIV and Torture of Gays in Egypt
2001 CIA World Fact Book estimates report approximately 12,000 people living with HIV in Egypt. According to Human Rights Watch, in February 2008, two men reported being forced to undergo "forensic anal examinations" designed to prove that the men had engaged in anal sex. The men were beaten, arrested, chained to hospital beds and forced to undergo tests on the virus. Two more men were arrested when their contact numbers were found in the detainees' wallets. These arrests, the latest in what Human Rights Watch calls a crackdown that violates human rights, bring the total number of arrests of suspected HIV-positive men to 12. The organization says the wave of arrests began in October 2007.
"This not only violates the most basic rights of people living with HIV," said Rebecca Schleifer, advocate for the HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "It also threatens public health, by making it dangerous for anyone to seek information about HIV prevention or treatment."