No improvement in HIV-infection rates in Azerbaijan

Mon 16 May 2011 07:15 GMT | 11:15 Local Time

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Fifteen people have died of AIDS in Azerbaijan this year, while 180 new cases of HIV infection have been registered.

The figures were given by the director of the Republican Centre to Combat HIV/AIDS, Hagigat Gadirova, at a round table to mark World AIDS Memorial Day, which falls on 15 May.

"An average of 450 cases of HIV-infection have been identified in Azerbaijan annually in the past four years," Gadirova said. "This year, 180 cases have been registered. This shows that the situation is stable, but that there is no reduction in the spread of infection."

The HIV/AIDS Centre registered 2,909 cases of HIV infection between 1987 and 1 May 2011. Of these, 2,805 are Azerbaijani citizens and 104 foreigners. Some 95% of the cases were identified in the past 10 years. Most of the infected people are intravenous drug users.

Areas of highest illegal drug use also have the most cases of HIV infection.

"The HIV-infection cases were identified in 55 territorial administrative units of Azerbaijan. Drug trafficking from Iran has an impact. Most of the cases were recorded in Shirvan and Hajigabul regions and then in Lenkoran, Sumgayit, Astara and Yevlakh," Gadirova said.

From 1987 to 1 May 2011, 387 people died of AIDS in Azerbaijan, 45 of them women.

Sixty-five people died of AIDS last year, while the figure to date in 2011 is 15.

Most of the AIDS victims in Azerbaijan, 92%, were aged between 19 and 50.

Gadirova said 1,201 Azerbaijani families were facing the problem of AIDS. “A total of 314 children have lost their parents as a result of this disease; 22 children have lost both parents, 26 have lost their mothers and 266 their fathers.”

APA

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