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18,000 Iranians HIV positive

MASHHAD, Feb. 23 (Mehr News Agency) -- An estimated 18,000 of the country's 70 million population are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the pathogen that causes AIDS, secretary of the state Welfare Organization's committee of AIDS control and prevention said on Sunday.

There is about 80,000 AIDS cases in Iran, Majid Reza-Zadeh said.

He described "injecting drug use" as the main means of AIDS transmission, lamenting the fact that in some parts of the country, "HIV is typically transmitted through sexual behaviors".

Referring to the increasing numbers of AIDS sufferers all around the world, Reza-Zadeh stressed the need for accelerating HIV prevention global efforts especially those targeted at youth.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which is now a pandemic, is a very serious disease that stops the body from defending itself against infections, and usually causes death.

In 2007, an estimated 33.2 million people lived with the disease worldwide, and it killed an estimated 2.1 million people, including 330,000 children. Over three-quarters of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.

... Payvand News - 02/23/09 ... --

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