Over 17,000 AIDS-contaminated syringes seized in six months

TEHRAN, May 30 (MNA) -- More than 17,000 AIDS-contaminated syringes were confiscated from Tehrani injecting drug users over the past six months, deputy head of state Red Crescent Society announced here on Saturday.

“A number of 17,500 AIDS-contaminated syringes were seized in six months from Tehrani intravenous drug users,” Hossein Saffarieh said.

Referring to the services available in mobile unites around the capital, Saffarieh said that a number of 19,422 syringes and clean needles, and a total of 3,700 information leaflets on health topics were provided to injecting drug users in a bid to help spread HIV among the addictions in this way.

According to Saffarieh, more than 700 addicts have received counseling and 300 were introduced into laboratories to be tested for HIV during the past six months.

Saffarieh referred to the growing rise in number of injecting drug users and the prevalence of HIV infection among them in the world, and described investing in HIV prevention programs such as needle exchanges and drug substitution treatments as the major factors in reducing the rate.

The report, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, says 3m self-injecting drug users worldwide could now be HIV-positive. In nine countries, more than 40% of drug users were infected.

The virus is spread mainly by the use of shared needles.

According to BBC, in some countries in South East Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe the rates of infection among injecting users are above 40%. In Estonia it is more than 72%.

But some countries have maintained very low rates of infection, such as the UK - where the rate is 2.3% - New Zealand and Australia where only 1.5% of injecting drug users are HIV-positive.




News Code 34023

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