The head of Iran’s AIDS Research Center said that in addition to the 10-fold increase in AIDS among women, Iran was seeing a significant increase of the disease among adolescents.
Mino Mohrez identified the cause of the outbreak as a lack of information on the disease among teenagers and their lack of knowledge on how it was transmitted.
Over 66,000 people are infected with AIDS in Iran, from which only about 35,000 have been diagnosed.
According to the AIDS researcher, sexual intercourse has turned into the main method of AIDS transmission in Iran.
In the past, the transmission of AIDS was more prevalent with addiction, with 97% of men and 3% of women being infected through shared needles. However, in the past two years, the number of sexually transmitted infections has increased 10-fold in women.
“Like in other countries, the transmission of the disease has gone towards sexual intercourse, which is why the number of women with AIDS has increased,” Mino Mohrez said in comments carried by ISNA state-run news agency.
She said that Iranian teenagers were now more at risk of being infected.
“Unfortunately, there has been a significant increase of AIDS among teenagers,” she said.
“When we talk to infected teenagers, they say they don’t know how the disease is transmitted,” she added.
Mohrez said that the reason behind the lack of education and denial of the spread of the disease was the social taboo surrounding the issue.
“Unfortunately, some people think that educating teenagers on AIDS would be a bad lesson and have other consequences, therefore they prefer not to talk about it,” she said.
According to Iran’s Ministry of Health, 36,571 cases of AIDS were detected in Iran until December 2017, 50% of which were related to people from 21 to 25 years of age.
This is while Massoud Mardani, the Scientific Secretary of the International Congress on AIDS said that 66,000 people in Iran suffered from AIDS.
Last spring, Shirin Ahmadinia, the Director General for Prevention at Iran’s Social Welfare Organization said that one of the reasons for the spread of AIDS in Iran was temporary marriages.
The other reason for the spread of AIDS in Iran is the alarming rise of addiction.
According to official figures released by Iran in 2018, there are 2 million and 808,000 addicts in Iran.
The official statistics also show an upward trend in addiction rates among Iranian women and girls. The report also says that 7,500 addicted babies are born every year in Iran. As with all official statistics in Iran, experts estimate that the number of addicts are more than the officially announced numbers.
About 20% of the more than 2 million addicts are intravenous drug users which means that there are around 600,000 IV addicts in Iran. Around 15% of IV addicts are infected with HIV, therefor it can be estimated that at least 90,000 IV addicts are suffering from AIDS in Iran.
Given that two thirds of AIDS cases in Iran are transmitted from shared needles, if we add one-third to the 90,000, it indicates that over 120,000 drug addicts have AIDS in Iran.