Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi says that Iran has been successful in curbing the spread of the HIV virus due to intravenous (IV) drug use, but she warned about the rise in HIV/AIDS cases due to extramarital sexual relations.
Iran has succeeded in controlling the spread of the disease
among IV drug users, and a very low percentage of the country's drug users are
infected with the HIV virus, Vahid-Dastjerdi told reporters on Sunday.
But what is a serious danger is the increase in HIV/AIDS cases due to sexual behavior, she added.
In such a situation, the number of HIV-infected people will quintuple in Iran, Vahid-Dastjerdi stated.
She went on to say that if AIDS transmission rises due to sexual relations, it may cause an "AIDS volcano" in Iran in the future.
A poster for raising awareness about AIDS
She advised Iranian citizens, particularly the younger
generation, to follow moral principles and to avoid sexual behavior that can
lead to HIV/AIDS infection.
Over 20,000 people have been diagnosed with AIDS in Iran, but the real number of affected people is about three to four times higher, the health minister added.
On a positive note, Vahid-Dastjerdi said the World Health Organization has introduced Iran as an international model for controlling HIV/AIDS.
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