Afghan minister of Public Health in celebration of World AIDS Day declared that despite gains in controlling the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the disease has continued to spread at an alarming rate and the main cause is homosexuality among men.
Feruzuddin Feruz, minister of health is said to consider the increase of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Afghanistan is at risk but the infection is lower than other countries.
“More than 1800 HIV- positive patients have been identified and recorded during a national program on controlling AIDS disease that 80 percent of them are men,” said Feruzuddin Feruz, minister of health.
Since reports of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) began to emerge in the United States in the 1980s, the HIV epidemic has frequently been linked to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) by epidemiologists and medical professionals.
According to Feruz, 80 percent of the recorded cases were from drug users, gay men and joint injection syringes.
Afghanistan, the biggest opium- and heroin-producing country in the world, has nearly one million drug users, according to UN estimates.
“For solving the problem, there should be a serious attention in addiction field to prevent the spread of AIDS in the country. ” added Feruzuddin Feruz.
Meanwhile, The World Health Organization says that HIV prevalence in Afghanistan is at a low level.
The ministry of Hajj affairs and Afghan religious scholars have also pledged to aware people from the disease and fight against it.
“The international community have not cooperated with Afghan government in terms of counter-narcotics and the ministry itself has lots of shortcomings,” said Muhammad Eyaz Neiazi, religious scholar.
Long cloistered by two decades of war and then the strict Islamic rule of the Taliban, Afghanistan was for many years shielded from the worst ravages of the AIDS pandemic.
The stigma of HIV/AIDS is perhaps the largest obstacle Afghanistan faces. The Taliban government, with its stoning and execution of adulterers and homosexuals, may be gone, but sex outside marriage and homosexual sex are still socially unacceptable.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).