World AIDS Day, which has been marked on December 1 since 1988, is a day to raise awareness and education about AIDS, which is what the HIV infection develops into, in order to stop the spread of the disease, increase money for prevention and treatment, and end discrimination against people living with AIDS.
This year, we wanted to focus on how this dreadful disease affects Iranian people and particularly women because, in direct contrast to this year’s theme of “getting to zero” new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, the number of people living with AIDS is rising in Iran. Worse still, AIDS Research Center director Minoo Mohraz said in 2018 that the number of Iranian women living with AIDS had increased tenfold over two years.
It is unclear exactly how many Iranians are now living with AIDS because of the regime’s habit of hiding things that make them look bad, but it was at least 60,000 in 2009, with 65 percent of people unaware of their disease. Even then, the Head of the HIV Prevention Office Parvin Afsar Kazeruni admitted that the true number is likely much higher.
Roughly 50 percent of cases are in people aged 20-35, with men accounting for roughly 69 percent of cases and women for 31 percent. But Kazeruni advised in 2017 that cases in women had increased by 40 percent.
“The number of Iranian women living with AIDS in Iran has not only not been reduced to zero; given the lack of care for addicted, deprived, and poor women, their numbers are actually increasing,” The Iranian Resistance wrote.
Of the women infected, 60 percent had used contaminated needles, 21 percent were infected by their husbands, and 1.6 percent by their mothers in utero. Drug use is sadly common in Iran because life is so painful for the poor, while wives are legally unable to refuse sexual intercourse from their husbands.
Painful Discrimination against AIDS (HIV) Patients
Iranian women living with AIDS are incredibly stigmatized with mistreatment from the medical community which reduces their ability to find a doctor, even in an emergency, because in addition to facing rejection from medical professionals who should know better, their treatment may be much more expensive than for a woman without AIDS.
Only around a quarter of AIDS patients have been able to receive treatment in past years and this may well have gotten worse because of the increase in poverty since 2009, which makes medical care a luxury.
For those living with HIV and AIDS in Iran, this year has been especially awful because of the wildly uncontrolled Coronavirus pandemic, which has increased poverty and decreased access to healthcare. But this is not a random occurrence that affected every country equally. It is the direct result of living under this regime.
The reason that poverty has increased is that the mullahs have systematically stolen from the Iranian people to fund lavish lifestyles, wars, and terrorism. As with all of the country’s problems, it can be traced back directly to the regime.