Iranian Government Releases Official AIDS Data, Announces Launch of HIV Prevention Campaign
The Iranian government on Saturday released official statistics on the nation's HIV/AIDS rates and said it was strengthening a nationwide HIV prevention campaign, marking a "change of attitude" regarding the disease, Agence France-Presse reports. Hossein Malek-Afzali announced that Iran has 18,000 HIV-positive residents and that new infections are growing by 25% each year. Speaking on the first day of a French-Iranian conference on health issues, Malek-Afzali said that AIDS "should no longer be a taboo" issue, adding that the government will launch HIV awareness media campaigns targeted at young people and families. Although the Iranian government launched an HIV prevention campaign during the 1990s, the topic of AIDS has largely remained taboo in the Islamic nation (Cadiot, Agence France-Presse, 5/18). The Iranian government announced last month that the country's schools will begin teaching HIV/AIDS prevention for the first time during the academic year that begins this September (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/16). Minou Mohraz, a professor at Tehran University and a conference participant, suggested increasing the number of television programs that openly discuss and recommend condom use (Agence France-Presse, 5/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.