ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi health authorities recently recorded 2019’s first case of HIV in a city in the southern province of al-Qadisiyyah, according to reports on Sunday quoting informed officials.
Early reports indicated that a young man from the city of al-Hamza had contracted the disease during a plasma transfusion procedure he had received as treatment for his hemophilia. However, officials later claimed otherwise.
“The disease… was transmitted after [the youth] had received an injection for his sickness in an unlicensed clinic,” a local media outlet quoted the head of al-Qadisiyyah province’s health commission, Hussein al-Kardhi, as saying.
Kardhi added that the victim was 20 years old and that “the health authorities in various areas of the province have taken the necessary measures after registering the case.”
“Recording one case is not considered serious but natural,” Health Ministry spokesperson Saif al-Bader told Baghdad-based al-Ghadeer media outlet.
An estimated 200 people are living with AIDS in Iraq.
Over the past few years, the presence of massage parlors in Baghdad has significantly increased, raising concerns among authorities in Iraq’s capital that sexually transmitted diseases could spread in salons that secretly provide sexual services.
In 2017, Baghdad alone recorded 27 HIV cases; among them were four foreign citizens.
In late 2018, Iraqi health authorities announced they had shut down 14 massage parlors in Baghdad for failing to have official licenses or permits.
According to the World Health Organization, some 36.7 million people are living with AIDS worldwide.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany