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HIV Infections Rising Because Of Afghan Heroin

26 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The increased flow of heroin out of Afghanistan is creating a new AIDS epidemic among needle-sharing drug addicts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

That's the conclusion of a U.S. health professional, Dr. Christopher Beyrer, speaking at an AIDS conference in Brazil.

Beyrer said a rising number of HIV/AIDS infections had been detected in Belarus, Iran, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and other countries along the route traffickers use to smuggle Afghan heroin into Eastern Europe.

HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, is often spread among intravenous drug users who share needles.

The four-day conference in Rio de Janeiro has assembled 5,000 scientists, health-care providers, and public-policy specialists to discuss the latest advances in the fight against AIDS.


See also:

Iran's Drug Problems Appear To Be Worsening

Russia: Report Denounces Discrimination Against Mothers and Children With HIV