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Ministry of Health HIV Dept Chair says 99 Percent of New HIV Cases Sexually Transmitted

in IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF, 07/06/2010

Iran's Semi Official Fars News Agency published an interview with Dr. Minoo Moharez, the chair of the HIV/AIDS Research Department at the Iran's Ministry of Health about the alarming rate of sexually transmitted HIV cases in Iran.

According to Dr. Moharez, 99 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases are transmitted through sexual contact and the rate of HIV contraction through using illegal drugs has significantly dropped.
 

She said: "I am afraid there is a very alarming trend in the country when it comes to new HIV cases. All patients who diagnosed with HIV at HIV/AIDS Center in Imam Khomeini Hospital (in Tehran) , which is the biggest HIV center in the country, are those who have got the virus through unsafe sexual practices.
 

She added, "If not 100%, I can claim 99% of new HIV cases are those which were transmitted sexually and this makes me extremely nervous. There are very limited number of new patients who got the virus by using infected needles, but those cases are old that diagnosed recently. I can safely say that the transmission of HIV virus through illegal drugs is fully under control."
Dr. Moharez concluded, "I am afraid the new patients are young, bright, and modern people who are familiar with new technology and the Internet, but know very little about HIV and how to protect themselves against it. I thing it is the responsibility of the media to educate the public about HIV, with support from the Ministry of Health."
 

It seems that Dr. Moharez's comment about Internet reflect the concerns of the Iranian officials about the access of Iranian youth to sexually-oriented materials on the Internet, which has encouraged risky sexual behavior among them.

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