Щит ислама? Исламский фактор распространения ВИЧ в Африке
HIV first appeared in West-Central Africa, then spread to the South, East and West and, at the same time, practically did not reach North Africa. A possible explanation of this pattern could be in the role of Islam which pays particular attention to the prevention of extramarital sexual relations. In addition, one can mention that circumcised men suffer from HIV significantly less frequently than non-circumcised. Against such background, we had certain grounds to expect that Islamic societies would have lower levels of HIV prevalence than non-Islamic. Our cross-cultural tests have supported this hypothesis. The data have been analyzed with power-law regression. We have found a significant (p < .001) and really strong (r = -.747) negative power-law correlation between percentage of Muslims and the HIV prevalence in African countries. Of course, one should take into account that the stigma attached to HIV is also much higher among Muslims and so, Muslims tend to be tested, identified and monitored at lower numbers than those from other religious and cultural backgrounds, which implies that further in-depth research is necessary in order to detect the real relationship between variables in question.