Iran Radio reports increase in AIDS cases
AIDS is on the rise in the Islamic Republic of Iran with a total amount of 20,650 cases recorded, an official from the health ministry was quoted as saying Sunday by state radio.
"AIDS, like all other sexually transmitted diseases, is on a steep rise in Iran", Mohammed Mehdi Ghoya, head of the illnesses department, said, according to AFP.
Of those infected, 3,912 are in an advanced stage of the illness and 373 have died from it in the past few years, Ghoya added.
Moreover, he said that the health ministry had recorded a total of 300,000 people infected with sexually transmitted diseases around the country.
According to official statistics, 70 percent of those reported HIV-positive contracted the virus from using dirty needles when taking drugs.
Since the year 1985, Iranian authorities have banned the import of blood, after a one-year old child contracted HIV when he was given imported blood.
The latest AIDS figures in Iran were released as doctors, medical researchers and grass-roots campaigners gathered in Barcelona Sunday for a six-day assessment of the global AIDS pandemic, now spreading fast into Eastern Europe and Asia as it enters its third decade.
The rise in sexually transmitted diseases in Iran also coincides with a boom in prostitution, banned since the 1979 Islamic revolution but making a comeback with the worsening of the economic situation. (Albawaba.com)