TEHRAN, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Iran's health officials have reported that some 20,000 people have been identified as infected with HIV/AIDS in the country, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.
"According to the most recent estimates of the health ministry,19,435 people have been identified as infected with HIV/AIDS in the country by March 21, 2009, the beginning of Iran's new year," said the report.
On the basis of this estimation, which has been collected by medical science universities and medical and health services, the infected cases account for 93.3 percent among men and 6.7 percent among women.
Quoting the studies of health ministry, ISNA said that 40.2 percent of the victims are among the group with the age between 25and 34.
The most common transmission cases since the introduction of the disease into the country were 69.6 percent, 8.2 percent, 1.3 percent and 0.6 percent by means of shared injection needles, sexual contacts, blood products and mother-to-child respectively, while 20.3 percent of the transmission means were reported as unknown.
Of those infected with HIV, 1,875 have already been confirmed as having AIDS, said the report.
Some non-official centers and characters in Iran have narrowly expressed their own concerns about the even higher figures of the potential victims of HIV, those in the hidden stage of the infection and those of the identified which may totally account for four times of the officially released figures.
In December, Iran's Health Minister Kamran Baqeri Lankarani said to Iran's local satellite Press TV that in order to fight against the growing cases of HIV in the country, Iran had a very holistic approach to harm reduction among injecting drug users, a program including establishing centers for educating the youth concerning sexually transmitted diseases and programs for counseling and therapy.