Immediate Past President's Message on the occasion of World AIDS Day
Dr. Zali emphasized that the necessary features for tackling the spread of HIV infection would be: educating people, introducing practical measures for HIV/AIDS control, closing the gap for accessing to prevention and treatment services nationwide, protecting health care professionals against biological health hazards as well as providing safe health care facilities and forging an effective national partnership and commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
"World AIDS Day is the first global health day which has been held for 26 years. WAD is dedicated to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, unite people worldwide due to tackle this health problem, and reach a zero new HIV infections.
According to WHO, the total number of people living with HIV in 2013 were 35 million while 19 million of them weren't aware of their infections. Approximately 13 million people received antiretroviral therapy although according to UNAIDS report released on 16 July 2014; we face inequity in accessing ART. As the proportion of individuals who received the treatment was highest in Western Europe and North America and lowest in our region as well as North Africa.
WHO motto for WAD 2014 is:" Closing the gap in HIV prevention & treatment", therefore global commitment should be gained to control HIV/AIDS , reach zero new HIV infection, and make it possible for all people and specifically the vulnerable ones to access the services they need.
According to Iranian Ministry of Health HIV/AIDS statistics, the total number of people living with HIV infection in Iran is 28662. Although totally about 67.2% of infected ones were injecting-drug users, in 2013 we faced decline in this way of virus transmission and a rise in sexual transmission.
Hence, the public should be better educated about the transmission as well as risk factors of HIV infection.
Opening of National HIV Diagnostic Laboratory Network in 11 major medical universities nationwide is a big stride which enables people to access fully equipped HIV testing units which alongside counseling centers would be an appropriate response to global fight against this infection.
As Medical Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRIMC) is the sole guardian of patients' right, will support the national plan to tackle this problem.
On the other hand, as IRIMC is the nation's largest independent and Non-Governmental Organization and voice of approximately all Iranian health care professionals, it protects the guild and professional rights of Iranian health care professionals as well.
Health care professionals' job is to care for the sick and injured and they are often viewed as immune to injury and illness. As the guardian of professional rights of health care professionals, IRIMC strongly support every initiative which protect the occupational health of health care professionals and create a safe working condition for them.
Unsafe working condition and exposing to biological health hazards including TB, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS contribute to health care professionals attrition in many countries due to work-related illness and injury and the resulting fear of occupational infections including TB and HIV.
The 2006 World Health Report Working Together for Health reported on a severe health workforce crisis in 57 countries, most of them in Africa and Asia.
Undoubtedly, health protecting of health care professionals will provide better quality of patient care and health system as a whole.
Therefore, necessary features for tackling the spread of HIV infection would be: educating people, introducing practical measures for HIV/AIDS control, closing the gap for accessing to prevention and treatment services nationwide, protecting health care professionals against biological health hazards as well as providing safe health care facilities and forging an effective national partnership and commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Alireza Zali