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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Rising HIV Infections See Iran Challenge Notions About Sex

    TEHRAN — In a square in a poor eastern Tehran neighborhood known for its drug addicts and dealers, psychologist Atefeh Azimi draws another drop of blood from a worried passer-by's finger.

    She works on a nearby bench, where a sign next to her in English and in Farsi urges the public to receive free voluntary counseling and HIV testing.

    But her worries, as well as those of her aid group called Reviving Values, are not confined these days just to those sharing needles to inject heroin that comes across the border from Afghanistan's thriving opium trade.

    Iran has seen a surge in the number of HIV infections spread by sex, especially among its youth. What's more, authorities say many have no idea that they are infected.

    That has led to growing uncomfortable questions in the Islamic Republic, where sex outside of marriage is prohibited and those who practice it can face arrest and severe punishment.

    Some have dared challenge the long-standing taboos in Iran surrounding sex, speaking publicly about the need for safe sex, sex education and regular HIV testing.

    "Everybody has a very bad attitude toward this disease," said Mahboobeh Zeinali, an HIV-positive woman living in Tehran. "They even think if they wash their hand where I do they can be infected, but they can't."

    According to government estimates, 66,000 people out of Iran's 80 million people have HIV, though about 30,000 of them have no idea they have the virus. Iranian authorities blame that on how little general knowledge many have about the virus.

    By comparison, in the United States, government statistics suggest 1.1 million people live with HIV, with one in seven not knowing it.

    More than 50 percent of those with HIV in Iran are between 21 and 35, said Parvin Afsar Kazerouni, the head of the Health Ministry's AIDS department. That's despite that age group representing about 28 percent of Iran's population as a whole.

    The number of those infected through sex continues to rise.

    "If we look at five or six years ago, the rate of infection through sex was around 16 or 17 percent, to 20 percent at the most. ... Now it is up to 40 percent or even more in some provinces," Dr. Mohammad Mahdi Gouya, Iran's deputy health minister, told The Associated Press. "This is an alert for us, the people and the officials. They are addressing this issue very seriously."

    Societal mores play a part in the rise of HIV infections. As a Muslim country, Iranian clerics preach against sex outside of marriage and sex isn't often discussed among children and parents. Schools offer little sexual education as well.

    Sex outside of marriage is illegal and some have been prosecuted for merely shaking hands with a member of the opposite sex under Iran's strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah. However, police rarely interfere with young couples in Tehran walking hand-in-hand and whispering to each other.

    The government blames drugs in part for the increase in HIV infections — though not those narcotics that are injected with a needle.

    "Ecstasy drugs, synthetic addictive drugs and amphetamine combinations dramatically and abnormally raise sexual desire," Gouya said.

    Views on sex are also changing in Iran.

    Previously, Iran allowed so-called "temporary marriages" or "sigheh" — a legal contract under Sharia law that allows a couple to share a hotel room or travel together, though it's not publicly or officially backed by the government. The contracts last anything between several hours to a few years but are increasingly abandoned in mainstream life in most of the Muslim world.

    Lately, Tehran has seen a quiet move toward so-called "white marriages," or couples living together before being married even though it remains illegal.

    Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's chief of staff, has criticized the practice, warning the ``loose generation'' that its offspring will "be illegitimate."

    Widespread access to satellite television, which in theory remains banned by authorities, also offers young Iranians access to images of Western culture, as does the internet.

    About 60 percent of divorces across Iran come from those unhappy with sex in their marriages, said Mohammad Mahdi Labibi, a sociology professor at Tehran's Azad University.

    "When one of them is not satisfied, they will look for it outside their marriage," in secret, Labibi said. Such "hidden sex increases the chance of being infected by any disease, including HIV."

    Prostitution also has been acknowledged by the government as a problem. Members of parliament have discussed the issue before, along with other "social problems," according to Iranian media reports.

    Today, Iran's government treats some 10,000 people either infected with HIV or those with already developed AIDS, which weakens the immune system and gradually destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. It typically costs the government $16,000 a year to treat a patient, Gouya said.

    Iranian society often ostracizes HIV-positive people, especially women.

    "Most women here are in charge of their families, and unfortunately finding a job for them is very difficult," said Najimeh Babagol, a psychologist who works with HIV-positive women. "Many of them get rejected went they reveal [they are HIV positive] at work. I can say this stigma and discrimination is the biggest problem they are facing.''

    Khosro Mansourian, who leads the Reviving Values aid group, said sex education and better understanding can help solve that.

    "Sex education should start from the kindergarten age," he said. "Every child should have full knowledge about sexual characteristics so that they can protect themselves and especially learn they have the ability to say no."

    Gouya agrees that the young should have sex education.

    "Our youth must learn about sexual issues in schools," he said. "Prevention is much easier than treatment of AIDS."

    https://www.voanews.com/a/hiv-infect...x/4141538.html

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    HIV, so sort of related.

    Watching TV last night ...

    For Teenager rates of HIV, of the top 6, unsurprisingly, 5 of them were in Africa and the #6 spot is
    currently held by India.



    'Dying from AIDS' has become 'Living with AIDS' and I look forward, one day soon to the 'Vaccine for AIDS'.

    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

    .

  3. #3
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    Well, to be fair, abstinence from drugs and non-marital sex is certainly the best prophylactic against HIV. The mullahs have got that right.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    The mullahs have got that right
    what they have wrong is their understanding of human nature: abstinence as a lifestyle is the real perversion...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    what they have wrong is their understanding of human nature: abstinence as a lifestyle is the real perversion...
    Abstinence from drugs as a lifestyle is not a perversion.
    Keeping sex to within marriage...not all that perverted and promoted by all major religions and philosophies.

  6. #6
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    The notion that every holes a goal and any port in a storm comes home to roost.
    Just prescribe free compulsory latex baths to the populus, problem solved.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Abstinence from drugs as a lifestyle is not a perversion
    ...depends on the drugs, the degree of abstinence, and whether or not coercion is involved...
    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Keeping sex to within marriage...not all that perverted and promoted by all major religions and philosophies
    ...precisely why circumscribing sex is a perversion: sex within marriage is a personal choice and should not be an enforceable regulation of organized religion (major or minor) or whatever "philosophies" you're talking about...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...depends on the drugs, the degree of abstinence, and whether or not coercion is involved...
    ...precisely why circumscribing sex is a perversion: sex within marriage is a personal choice and should not be an enforceable regulation of organized religion (major or minor) or whatever "philosophies" you're talking about...
    And you're not talking about perversions.

    And I'm only playing devil's advocate here, not espousing my own lifestyle choices, of course.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    And I'm only playing devil's advocate here
    why bother?...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Rising HIV Infections See Iran
    Why to highlight Iran?
    As per Wiki:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...revalence_rate

    "HIV/AIDS prevalence estimates table -USA not included
    This data was sourced from the CIA's world factbook[8] unless referenced otherwise. A horizontal dash - indicates the data was not published. Adult prevelance describes ages between 15-49
    "

    is Iran with 0.10% somewhere very down in the listing, in contrast to African countries (Thailand 1.1%), almost no EU indicated, neither USA - of course VOA...

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Why to highlight Iran?
    ...the headline writer is emphasizing "rising" in a religiously conservative country that severely punishes sex outside of marriage...hence "challenge"...the embarrassment of folks ignoring the Mullahs stern sex laws suggests a punishment from Allah...like AIDS...

  12. #12
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    what they have wrong is their understanding of human nature:
    I think they understand human nature perfectly. Their error would be if they thought they could control it in millions of people.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    of course VOA
    This is a story picked up from Associated Press. You can read it in many other news sites besides VOA. Perhaps it will even appear on RT or one of your favorite news sources.

    You don’t think AIDS in Iran is a subject worth discussion even if their own health ministry wants to talk to the press about it?

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Actually, what do you (or the AP, Reuters and the righteous VOA) know about the sex life in Iran? Just few weeks ago I had spent few days here with a businessman from Iran.

    And I was quite surprised when he told me about his family life, separated from his wife, keeping his son with him and keeping his very young girlfriend (showing her pictures) for himself, no intention to marry her.

    So, perhaps you have another knowledge about life in Iran?

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^ Only what we read about on the news which came from people in Iran. From the government spokes people, no less.

    Why such a big chip on your shoulder?

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    You don’t think AIDS in Iran is a subject worth discussion even if their own health ministry wants to talk to the press about it?
    As a matter of fact, if you are asking, no, I really do not. Neither I care about rising AIDS in Iran, do you? Still not so bad as in Thailand - or do you think the CIA is lying about that?

    There are much more interesting and important topics to discuss - and not so horrifying....

    And surely not "a big chip on my shoulder" (if I understand it correctly with my poor English)...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Well, to be fair, abstinence from drugs and non-marital sex is certainly the best prophylactic against HIV. The mullahs have got that right.
    Not often I disagree with you but ...... the education and awareness in open societies are far more beneficial in prevention.
    Closed and restricted religious societies discourage education and open channels of communication. Over zealous punishment will not prevent the young from experimentation with drugs and sex. As the worrying statistics seem to indicate.

  18. #18
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    The point of the article is that if you do not want AIDS to rise, you have to accept that people have sex and that they need to be educated on how to protect themselves.

    It doesn't specifically matter that it's Iran, there are plenty of other countries where the number of AIDS cases could be drastically reduced if they officially accepted that it exists and that there are ways to combat its spread. The need for sex education is not unique to any particular country.

    Places like Iran don't even give their citizens unfettered access to the Internet where they might be able to learn some of this for themselves.

    Basically the fucking mullahs need to be taken out of the back door and shot.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    do you think the CIA is lying about that?

    <snip>

    And surely not "a big chip on my shoulder"

    Not much.


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    why bother?...
    Exactly. I shouldn't, especially when you have spun things from my original comment, and tried to cover for your original comment which was fallacious.

  21. #21
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    I wonder how many Iranians are taking the virus home after their Beach Road ladyboy holiday fun in Thailand?

    The west may have made progress on HIV meds. An American urological surgeon I met on holiday reckoned the real threat is now antibiotic resistant bladder and urinary tract infections. The use of PrEP among promiscuous homosexuals is spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria at a frightening rate. In 20 years sepsis from these untreatable conditions may oncecagain be the leading cause of death in the west. And the doctors and big pharma are accelerating the inevitable by promoting prophylactic anti retro viral meds in place of condoms or more monogamy.

    in short the next AIDS like epidemic could be bacterial and far more easily spread

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    So, perhaps you have another knowledge about life in Iran?
    ...I lived in Isfahan for 3.5 years: I believe I have some knowledge about life in Iran...
    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    There are much more interesting and important topics to discuss
    ...and yet, you're posting here...
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    I think they understand human nature perfectly
    what they understand is coercing the flock to obey Allah's rules...maybe it's Allah who misunderstands human nature...
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Basically the fucking mullahs need to be taken out of the back door and shot
    ...maybe after a few minutes of exquisite torture first...
    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound View Post
    The use of PrEP among promiscuous homosexuals is spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria at a frightening rate
    Did he provide you with research to support this generalization that seems to exclude promiscuous breeders?
    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Exactly. I shouldn't
    ...agree...devil's advocate may not be your calling...perhaps Rosemary's Baby...
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Places like Iran don't even give their citizens unfettered access to the Internet where they might be able to learn some of this for themselves.
    You surely have some link for that? (please not from VOA)

    The guy I have mentioned had bothered me being every 5 min. connected with his Whatsapp with somebody in Iran. Was wondering why I am not fluent with that, all his friends using just that...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    You surely have some link for that? (please not from VOA)

    The guy I have mentioned had bothered me being every 5 min. connected with his Whatsapp with somebody in Iran. Was wondering why I am not fluent with that, all his friends using just that...
    You surely can use Google, you fucking moron.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/iran-...country-2016-6


    P.S. Ask your imaginary friend to try opening www.sexualhealth.com

  25. #25
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    ^How comforting to live in a country where no such data storing is existing...
    BTW, any link from VoA?

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