Iran celebrates the World AIDS Day 2013: Treat more, Treat Better

Tehran-Iran, 1 December 2013

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The Ministry of Health and Medical Education celebrated the WAD 2013 under the theme of Treat more, Treat Better. The ceremony was attended by H.E. the Minister for Health and Medical Education, Deputy for Health, Director of the Center for Disease Control, high rank officials, chancellors of the medical universities, WHO, UNAIDS, RC as well as heads of other UN agencies, media, and activists in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS i.e. Ms Mahtab Keramati the goodwill ambassador of UNICEF.

The celebration inaugurated by Dr Sayyari,  Deputy Minister for Public Health, welcome remarks and a summary on the current status of HIV/AIDS in I.R. Iran, challenges and achievements, as well as future plan. He emphasized on self-control, marriage, and safe sex as main points to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS.  He said that we need to support people infected with HIV by providing job opportunities, and securing their lives. In order to achieve this, scientific and technical assistance as well as facilities are needed.

He remarked that “our aim is to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS to zero”. This is not only the responsibility of Ministry of Health and Medical Education, but it is the responsibility of the entire society. He then referred to role of Media in raising awareness amongst community. In this regard there has been a negotiation with Mr Zarghami, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in order to open out the subject of HIV/AIDS. In line with the above it was announced that Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran organized a SMS competition on the occasion of World AIDS day 2013 including twenty questions, which the winner will be presented a reward from the United Nations.

The programme continued with delivery of the message of Secretary General, message of the UNAIDS Executive Director, as well as the message of the WHO Regional Director.

Dr Jihane Tawilah, the WHO representative in I.R. Iran, delivered the Regional Director’s message which was emphasizing on the HIV treatment: antiretroviral therapy (ART) has become safer, simpler and more robust. People living with HIV who take ART in the right combination of medicines can lead long and productive lives. We also know that with successful ART, people living with HIV are less likely to transmit the virus to others. They can now prevent the transmission of their infection to their partners. As well, pregnant women living with HIV can now have HIV-free infants. Making ART available on a large scale to those who need it can avert new infections and can eventually curb the HIV epidemic.

Dr Gouya, Director General, Center for Disease Control of Ministry of Health and Medical Education indicated that treatment of HIV/AIDS is an important effort not only as a curative but as a preventive measure, since the number of viruses is reduced. Also he mentioned the drug resistance as one of the most important problems. Based on recent statistics one seventh of the newly HIV affected cases are teenagers.

H.E. Minister of Health and Medical Education, Dr Hassan Hashemi underlined the issue that during passed decades we used to blame Western countries about the number of affected patients with HIV virus. We kept people uninformed and we covered up the problem during years which led to 80% growth of the virus spread. The rate growth is even more than inflation and housing rates that are discussed in the Media every day. Number of affected patients with HIV virus is shifted from injecting drug users to unsafe sex behavior. Therefore we need to stop concealing and we need to expand ways of distributing preventive tools.

In the end H.E. Dr Hashemi unveiled the new Ministry of Health’s website which focuses on the topic of “HIV/AIDS”: http://aids.behdasht.gov.ir/

 

                                                                      

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Designed by: Farid Karimzadeh