KERMAN, Oct.17 (Mehr News Agency) -- 19,700 of the country's over 70 million population have so far been diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the pathogen that causes AIDS, head of Infectious Diseases Department of the Health Ministry announced here on Saturday.
A total of 3,000 people have lost their lives by the virus over the past 20 years, Mohammad-Mehdi Guya said, adding that 1,800 of those individuals infected with HIV are in the late stage of disease.
Guya blamed injecting drug use as the major factor in HIV transmission and explained, "The virus is prevalent among IV drug users in many countries, mostly due to small groups sharing injection equipment combined with a lack of proper sterilization."
Referring to the increasing numbers of AIDS sufferers all around the world, Guya stressed the need for accelerating HIV prevention global efforts especially those targeted at youth.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), 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.
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