41 HIV cases registered in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2019: health minister

Minister of Health in Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Saman Hussein Muhammad Barzinji has said that 41 people were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and admitted to hospitals in Iraqi Kurdistan Region so far in 2019.

During a press conference on Sunday to mark World AIDS Day, Barzinji said that the ministry has taken proper measures for their treatment.

Out of the total, only two patients are from the Kurdistan Region and the rest are originally from central and southern Iraq.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which damages the immune system. There is no known cure, but it is treatable with cocktails of antiretroviral drugs.

In 2018 a Kurdish health official said that 29 cases of HIV have been registered in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In 2016, the Kurdish minister of health said that 8 cases of AIDS have been registered in 2016 in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

In 2015, 24 HIV cases were discovered.

In 2014 Tristan Troby, coordinator of the AIDS program for the Kurdish Ministry of Health and Kurdistan Save the Children said Iraqi Kurdistan is seeing the beginning of an AIDS epidemic that already affects the region. “The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has 19 official cases of HIV and AIDS in 2014,” he says. “But probably more people are infected without knowing so because not much testing is done under the local community.”.

In 2018, there were an estimated 37.9 million people worldwide living with HIV and 1.7 million people were newly infected.

According to UNAIDS, 32.0 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.

“On World AIDS Day, UNAIDS salutes the achievements of activists and communities in the struggle against HIV. We remember and we honor all those whom we have lost along the way,” UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement.

“Activists challenged the silence and brought life-saving services to their communities. But the countless contributions by women and many others can never replace the responsibility of governments,” she added.

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