World AIDS Day: 200 HIV counseling centers active across Iran

November 30, 2019 - 17:36

TEHRAN – Some 200 human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) counseling centers are active across the country which offer training, prevention, control and treatment of AIDS, head of AIDS and sexual disease control department at the Ministry of Health has announced.

Parvin Afsar Kazerouni made the remarks on the occasion of World AIDS Day which is annually observed on December 1.
World AIDS Day is an important opportunity to recognize the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.
The theme of this year is "Communities make the difference".
HIV is a manageable infectious disease that, if diagnosed early and begins treatment, will not only interfere with the patient’s normal life span, but the probability of disease transmission reaches nearly zero, she highlighted.
“So, our important mission is to inform people on prevention, eliminate false beliefs, provide early diagnosis and timely treatment,” she noted.

Over 40,000 people diagnosed with HIV in Iran

She went on to said that since the beginning of the epidemic, a total of 40,735 cases of HIV have been registered in the country, 60.1 percent of which were infected with drug injection equipment and 22.2 percent due to high-risk sexual behavior.
Men held a share of 82 percent and women 18 percent among people infected with HIV, she lamented, adding, 50 percent of the patients age 20-35.
Referring to the newly diagnosed cases of HIV in the first six months of this year, she said that about a thousand people have been diagnosed during this period, 31 percent of whom were women and 69 percent were men.

AIDS prevalence during past 6 months

During the aforementioned period, 22 percent of HIV diagnoses occurred among those injected drugs, and 46.4 percent were sexually transmitted, she added.
Our estimates show a number of 60,000 live AIDS cases, but currently, 21,635 have been diagnosed so far, so 65 percent of the patients are unaware of their disease, not under any care or treatment, thus the virus is likely to transmit to the newborns and the incidence increases, she explained.

Media should be more active on the issue

Referring to the national HIV prevention and control program, she stated that 23 ministries, organizations, and NGOs are cooperating in this regard.
“What is important now is the role of the media in raising public awareness about the disease, ways of preventing it and encouraging people to refer to training centers and take up voluntary testing,” she noted.

HIV prevalence in the world

The human immunodeficiency viruses are two species of Lentivirus that cause HIV infection and over time acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, 75 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and about 32 million people have died of HIV. 

Globally, 37.9 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2018. An estimated 0.8% [0.6-0.9%] of adults aged 15–49 years worldwide are living with HIV, although the burden of the epidemic continues to vary considerably between countries and regions. 

The WHO African region remains most severely affected, with nearly 1 in every 25 adults (3.9%) living with HIV and accounting for more than two-thirds of the people living with HIV worldwide.


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