Number of New HIV Cases Reported in Afghanistan Increasing, Health Ministry Says
Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday reported that more than 400 new HIV cases have been recorded in the country, Xinhuanet reports. Although the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is relatively low in Afghanistan, the ministry said there are many potential risk factors that could spread the virus.
In a statement, the ministry said, "So far, 435 HIV-positive cases have been reported from different sources," adding that there are an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 cases nationwide. The ministry said that the potential risk factors for the spread of HIV include 30 years of war, high levels of poverty and illiteracy, displacement, poppy cultivation, drug trafficking and use, commercial and unsafe sex, and unsafe injection and blood transfusion practices, Xinhuanet reports.
The ministry noted that the World Bank has granted $10 million to the health ministry to raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS in the country (Xinhuanet, 7/9).