HIV Spreading in Afghanistan

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The one thing Afghans never had to worry about was HIV. That is, until June 2005, when a 50-year-old was diagnosed with the first-ever HIV-positive case in the country. Two years on, the situation is spiraling out of control: Radio Free Europe reports that over the last six months, the rate of new HIV infections has increased fourfold, with up to 2,000 people infected over the last year. The World Bank, which has pledged $10 million to fight the epidemic, considers Afghanistan’s high number of refugees, injecting drug users, and widespread illiteracy the most important factors causing the spread.

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