Monday, April 18, 2005

Iran records over 10,000 HIV/AIDS cases

TEHRAN (AFP) - Some 10,265 people in Iran are infected with the HIV virus and another 390 have full-blown AIDS, according to health ministry figures reported in the press.

According to the statistics, intravenous drug use is still the main cause of infection, narrowly followed by sexual contact. The reports did not say if the number of dead has risen from 1,041 -- figures confirmed by the health ministry in February -- since the first case was reported 18 years ago.

Most of the reported infections are men, with 9,751 cases, compared to 514 women.

But with testing facilities limited and sufferers often unwilling to come forward, experts estimate that as many as 40,000 people may be HIV positive, which can lead to AIDS.