The impact of teachings on sexuality in Islam on HPV vaccine acceptability in the Middle East and North Africa region Open Access

Hamdi, Sabrine (2016)

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On a global scale, HPV is considered one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. The HPV vaccine is the recommended prevention strategy. The introduction and the acceptability of the vaccine remain controversial. Among the main reasons behind the controversy is the relationship between sexual activity and HPV infection. (CDC, 2015; Gamble 2010).

This thesis examines the impact of teachings on sexuality in Islam on HPV vaccine acceptability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, specifically the countries where Arabic and Islam are articulated as the official language and religion, respectively, in each country's constitution.

In those countries, Islam helps shape the practices and habits of Muslims including sexual and reproductive health. From an Islamic perspective, sex is indeed regarded as a holy activity and a human need that should be satisfied in a lawful and appropriate manner with legitimate partners. Thus, many sexually transmittable diseases can be prevented if the rules of Islam were unfailingly respected and applied by Muslims in MENA countries. However, findings suggest that Arab and Muslim societies are experiencing deep changes in gender relations and sexual life, where the youth's sexual behavior is noticeably shifting. The occurrence of non-traditional sexual practices, whether extramarital or premarital, has dramatically increased (Ali, 2006). It is an era characterized by tension, perplexity, doubt and confusion induced by veering sexual codes and norms and the questioning of religious ethics (Khalaf et al., 2006). This dissension is aggravated and intensified by the changing modern world marked by globalization, communication and interconnectedness. In addition, several Muslim societies are in denial and reluctant to address this phenomenon.

This drastic behavioral change in Muslim societies, including those in the MENA region, might increase the incidence rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the long term, particularly of HPV and related diseases (Seoud, 2012; El-Kak, 2013). Efforts to encourage increased vaccination against HPV will have a greater likelihood of success when the complex relationships among religion, sexuality, gender, and culture are understood.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Methodology

Chapter 2: Overview and the Global Burden of the Human Papillomaviruses

Figure1: HPV prevalence among women with normal cytology: Meta-analysis based on results from 1,016,719 women (Forman et al., 2012)

2.1 Transmission and Risk Factors

Table1: Transmission routes of HPV (Gavillon et al., 2010)

Table2: Risk factors for HPV among sexually active female patients aged 18 to 25 years (Gavillon et al., 2010)

2.2 Treatment

2.2.1 Warts

2.2.2 Cancer

2.3 Prevention

Chapter 3: HPV in the MENA Region Context

3.1 Defining the Middle East and North Africa Region

Figure 2: Middle East and North Africa region (UNICEF, 2006)

3.2 Burden of HPV in the MENA Region

Figure 3: Age-standardized incidence rates of cervical cancer in the world, estimations for 2012 (HPV Information Center, 2014)

Table 3: HPV and invasive cervical cancer in the Middle East and North Africa (Seoud, 2012) 3.3 HPV in the Cultural Context

Chapter 4: Islam and Sexual behavior

4.1 Islam and Sexual behavior in the Holy Qu'ran

4.1.1 What is the Holy Qu'ran?

4.1.2 Sexuality in the Qu'ran

Table 4: Quranic verses with related citation (Ali, 2001; Ali, 2006

4.2 Islam and Sexual Behavior in the Hadith

4.2.1 What is the Hadith?

4.2.2 Sexuality in the Hadith

Table 5: Citations from the Hadith (Khan, 2000; Ali, 1951 ^ ; Al-Sheha 2002*; Rizvi, 1994``)

4.3 Islam and sexual behavior in the literature

Chapter 5: Conclusion


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