4th National AIDS Plan Takes Off

4th National AIDS Plan Takes Off4th National AIDS Plan Takes Off

The 4th National AIDS plan is being implemented in cooperation with the UN and several international organizations, said Fardad Doroudi, director of the United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) in Iran.

More than 16 international organizations are contributing to the execution of the plan which entails ten strategic goals, the Persian language weekly ‘Salamat,’ quoted him as saying.

“A wide range of educational programs and projects are being implemented within the framework of the plan, he said. Medicines, diagnostic and laboratory equipment have been imported by the UNAIDS office in Iran.

“Treating HIV-infected people with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs is one of the most important aspects of the plan which will help them lead productive lives,” Doroudi said.  The drugs can help reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to patients’ uninfected partners by 96%.

Providing ARVs to mothers during delivery can also eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV, he added.

According to official figures, currently, more than 28,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.  Also, 5% of street women and children and 13% of intravenous drug users have HIV.

Based on data, a total of 28,663 HIV-infected people were identified in Iran until September 2014, including 6,435 who have entered the AIDS stage.

Of the total registered cases, 89.3% are men and 10.7% are women and among them 45.7% are in the age group 25-34, which is the highest in any age group. The second largest age group comprised 35-44 years old at 28.2%.

Alongside the increase in the number of women living with HIV and those infected by mother to child transmission, the number of children under 5 years with HIV was increasing.

Transmission in all the cases registered since 1986 are (in order of magnitude) sharing syringes among intravenous drug users (67.2%), sexual intercourse (13.9%), blood transfusion (0.9%), and mother-to-child transmission (1.3%).

 UNAIDS is an innovative joint venture that brings together the efforts and resources of several UN organizations as a response to global AIDS to help prevent new HIV infections and care for people living with HIV.

With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN agency works in more than 80 countries.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2014, 36.9 million people across the world were diagnosed with the disease of which 2 million were infected newly in 2014. Also in the same year, 1.2 million people lost their lives due to HIV/AIDS.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with 25.8 million people living with HIV in 2014. Also sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost 70% of the global total of new HIV infections.