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Iran Reports 30% Increase in HIV Rates Last Year

by VR Sreeraman on October 15, 2008 at 11:55 AM
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 Iran Reports 30% Increase in HIV Rates Last Year

The number of people in Iran who have been infected with the AIDS virus has reached 18,320 people, a 30 percent increase on the 2007 figure, health ministry statistics showed on Tuesday.

"So far 1,592 of the infected people have developed AIDS... and 2,800 have died," said the ministry report quoted by the state television website.

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Intravenous drug use is still the main cause of infection at 80.8 percent. Sexual contact accounted for 11.9 percent of cases.

A full 93.7 percent of those infected were men.

Iranian officials have warned of the dangers of a rise in infections with the Human Immune-Deficiency Virus amid a surge in intravenous drug usage.

Officials estimate Iran has two million drug users in a population of more than 71 million.

The country is situated on a major drug trafficking route from the opium fields of Afghanistan to the wealthy consumer markets of Europe and the Gulf.

Source: AFP
SRM/SK
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