KABUL: There are an estimated 2500 HIV positive cases in Afghanistan, a country reeling from decades of war, poverty, illiteracy, massive displacements, high levels of poppy cultivation and commercial and unsafe sex. Unsafe injection practices, drug trafficking and usage, unsafe injection practices and blood transfusion were potential risk factors for the spread of the deadly virus, the Ministry of Public Health said.
Recent studies have revealed that HIV prevalence among IDUs in Kabul is three percent. So far 435 HIV positive cases have been reported from different sources, but it is estimated that there are 2000-2500 HIV positive cases nationwide, the ministry added. A press release from the ministry quoted the public health minister as saying: As you are aware that the World Bank has granted $10 million for the successful implementation of National AIDS Control Program and out of that amount, $3,744,955 is allocated for harm reduction services.
Dr. Amin Fatimie added: It is indeed a great pleasure that today MoPH with financial help of the World Bank signs the contracts that include the delivery of harm reduction services, with five non-governmental organizations. HIV preventive services, harm reduction, case finding and treatment of TB in prisons would be improved, Fatimie promised while signing the seven contracts, including two with the Organization for Technical and Community Development (OTCD) for Kabul and Nangarhar respectively. Two contracts will be inked with the Solidarity Afghan Families (SAF) for Kabul and Balkh, one each with Shahamat Rehabilitation Organization (SHRO) for Herat, Sanayee Development Organization (SDO) and ActionAid-SANA