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AIDS not prevalent in Iran: UNICEF envoy

Tehran, Dec 2, IRNA - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative to Iran said that AIDS is not prevalent in Iran. Addressing a news conference marking World AIDS Day, Christian Salazar said that AIDS in the country is limited to high risk groups.

Junkies and those having illegitimate sexual relations are among the groups, he noted.

He added that all international bodies and Iranian officials are trying to keep the disease under control to prevent its spread to other people.

Salazar, who is also chairman of HIV/AIDS Theme Group in Iran, described Iran's efforts to minimize harms caused to the addicts as desirable.

Referring to two-year National AIDS Program for 2008-2009 period, Salazar noted that 11 UN agencies including UNICEF and Iranian Health Ministry, Prisons Organization, Drug Control Headquarters, Education Ministry, Welfare Ministry, State Welfare Organization and Interior Ministry are involved in the campaign.

The UN has earmarked a credit of dlrs 6.4 million for the program which will deal with researches in the field, and prevention as well as treatment of those suffering from the disease in Iran, he noted.

He also voiced his readiness to help transfer Iran's experience in the field to other countries.

However, Salazar said, Iranians do not have sufficient awareness about the disease and how it spreads.

Meanwhile, UNAIDS (UN AIDS Program) country Officer in Charge Ali Feizzadeh said that 30 to 50 percent of junkies in Iran are married and their wives are exposed to danger of the disease.

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Knut Ostby also told the same gathering that UN's efforts are in harmony with Iran's programs in combating AIDS.

Stating that the Iranian anti-AIDS program is very comprehensive, he said that it has performed successfully in minimizing the harm to AIDS victims.

Currently, 33 million people in the world are suffering from the disease.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS is a set of symptoms and infections resulting from the damage to the human immune system caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

... Payvand News - 12/03/08 ... --

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