AIDS Epidemic Threat in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, 20 February / corr. Trend I. Alizadeh/ There is AIDS epidemic threat in Azerbaijan. "The AIDS threat is mainly spread among the drug-addicts and prisoners," Arzu Quliyeva, the national coordinator of the UN Bureau on Fight against Drugs and Crime, said.
The meeting of permanent committee of Azerbaijani parliament on social policy, held on 20 February, discussed the results of the regional project on prevention of AIDS among the drug addicts and prisoners.
She said that Bureau on Fight against Drugs and Crime carries out a special project to prevent AIDS in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. The project covers five years.
"The shortcomings in the legislation should be eradicated, to prevent the spreading of AIDS," Guliyeva said.
According to Hadi Rajabli, the chairman of the parliament commission, the statistical figures show that the number of the people infected with AIDS, grows every year.
Mazahir Efendiyev, the national coordinator of UN on control over drugs in South Caucasus, said that the data of 2005 show that 70% of the prisoners using drugs have been infected with AIDS. This figure totaled to 53% in 2006 and 63% in 2007.
According to Efendiyeva, the great majority of those who are accused of illegal storing, transport and sale of drugs are drug abusers themselves. "They are detained and jailed, however there are no opportunities in prisons to cure them," he added.
He said that the patient care institution of the Ministry of Justice can house only 120 of them at a time. "But, the number of those amongst the prisoners, is thrice the capacity of the institution," he said.