Azerbaijan, Baku, December 1/ Trend corr I. Alizade/ The number of AIDS-infected youth in Azerbaijan has increased.
"Youth aged 25 to 29 accounted for 13%-14% of the AIDS-infected people in 2007. This indicator reached 20% over 10 months of 2008," Youth and Sport Minister of Azerbaijan Azad Rahimov said to journalists.
Minister said rise in the number of AIDS-infected youth causes alarm. Rahimov urged all layers of society to fight this disease.
"Fight against AIDS is always focus of attention of the Ministry of Youth and Sport. A number of actions and conferences have been held on this issue. We mainly focus on educating youth about it. Not only Youth and Sport Ministry, but also secondary schools and parents should fight this disaster," minister added.
A Working Group has been set up to develop a new law on Preventing spread of AIDS diseases in Azerbaijan. The Work Group, led by Musa Guliyev, the deputy chairman of the Social Policy Permanent Commission, comprises MPs and representatives of the Ministries of Justice, Health and Interior Affairs, the UN Baku Office, as well as Open Society Institute.
The Work Group should develop and submit the new bill by 15 January in 2009.
For the first time, HIV-infected man was registered at the Republican Centre for Struggle against AIDS in 1987. A total of 1,510 people have infected with AIDS in Azerbaijan on 1 May in 2008. Some 70% of virus bearers have infected with HIV at prime of their life. A total of 60% of HIV/AIDS bearers are drug addicts. Some 1,446 of the registered patient are Azerbaijani citizens and 64 - foreign citizens. A total of 210 Azerbaijani citizens, including 189 men and 21 women, died of AIDS disease within this period. Majority of the AIDS victims have been registered in Baku and Absheron (72 people), in Lankaran (28 people) and Sumgayit (20 people). Some 136 children have become orphans in their family. Ten children lost both parents, 13 - only mother and 113 - father.