Brothers Kamiar and Arash Alaei, founders of an HIV-prevention program in Iran, were jailed on what many say were politically motivated charges.
Iranian Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi says the spread of HIV/AIDS is increasingly being spread in Iran through sexual contact, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda reports.
Dastjerdi said on July 18 that HIV/AIDS in Iran used to be transmitted primarily through contaminated blood transfusions and the use of dirty needles by drug addicts.
Shahla Ezazi, a Tehran-based member of the Iranian Sociological Association, told Radio Farda the same day that she agreed with Dastjerdi’s statement.
But she added that although there were contradictory statistics about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Iran, “what is certain is that the number of identified HIV-infected Iranians has increased.”