Social Stigma, Taboos in Iran Undermining Government Efforts to Fight HIV/AIDS, Official Says
December 4, 2007
Social stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in Iran is undermining efforts to raise public awareness about the disease in the country, Deputy Health Minister Moayed Alavian said on Saturday at a conference at Tehran University to mark World AIDS Day, Reuters reports. More than 16,000 HIV/AIDS cases officially have been recorded in Iran, Alavian said, but he added that some estimates put the number at 70,000. According to Alavian, 66.7% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country are injection drug users. He said that the Ministry of Health and Medical Education faces challenges in addressing HIV/AIDS because of the social stigma attached to the disease and the fact that the subject is taboo, Reuters reports. "There are also social and cultural limitations in providing education on how to prevent (the disease) and informing the public," Alavian said.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.