HIV/AIDS Program in Iran Provides Outreach, Treatment for HIV-Positive People
An HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention program in Iran founded by two local physicians is providing antiretroviral drugs and clean needles to HIV-positive people in the country, the Washington Post reports. The program -- which was founded in 1997 by Arash Alaei and Kamiar Alaei and initially treated about one patient per week -- operates 70 clinics throughout the country. The program has been featured on the World Health Organization's Web site and commended for its "best practices," the Post reports. In addition, Iran's Disease Management Center solicited a five-year plan to fund the program -- which has drawn $3 million annually from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the Clinton Foundation; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and several countries. The Iranian government also will provide $8 million to $12 million annually, Arash Alaei said. According to Arash Alaei, 68% of HIV-positive individuals in Iran have "a history of needle-sharing," and the program has begun to distribute sterilized, disposable needles and to reduce the spread of HIV. In addition, the program this year launched a media campaign that provides lectures and pamphlets about HIV to high school students. Arash Alaei, along with 14 other Iranian physicians, last week visited Washington, D.C., to participate in discussions -- hosted by the Aspen Institute -- about the American and Iranian health systems (Boustany, Washington Post, 12/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.