Sex-related illnesses increase in Iraq's
By Hemin Baban
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', ó The number of sex-related
and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV has
been sizably increasing here in the northern region
of Kurdistan in Iraq in the past few years,
according to the regionís Ministry of Health.
Dr. Khals Qadir, director of the Media and Public
Relations of the Ministry of Health, told Rudaw that
there were already 76 registered persons affected
with HIV/Aids in Kurdistan.
"Only 10 of them are citizens of Kurdistan," added
Qadir. "2 of them have died."
According to Kurdistan's Ministry of Health, the
affected people with different sexual deceases
number 5000-10,000, a number considered "normal" by
Qadir, the Health Ministry official.
Sex-related illnesses increase in Iraq's Kurdistan
However, he admits
that the statistics are not exact and the number of
patients could be higher.
"There are some kinds of disease of which we have no
statistic," Qadir said.
"The largest segment of the patients is made up of
youths and important people of the Kurdish society."
Qadir sees 8 reasons for the increase of sex-related
diseases in the region. They include the increase of
the population size, the opening of the Kurdistan's
borders for free trade with foreign countries,www.ekurd.netthe
increase of prostitution phenomenon, the increase of
the trafficking of Kurds abroad, the increasing use
of drugs, bringing in foreign workers and the
development of tourism.
The official statistics say that the most common
sex-related diseases are hepatitis B and C, two
infectious and often fatal illnesses that infect the
Experts say that the former is easily transmitted
through sexual intercourse while the latter has a
very lesser possibility.
They also point to a sizable increase in the cases
of people with infectious hepatitis B and C since
2007, when there were only 621 cases of and 283
But this year did the number surge to 1370 people
with infectious hepatitis B and 446 with infectious
Dr. Saba Ali Rasheed, an expert in skin diseases,
said that there are an increasing number of genital
herpes, a sexually transmitted disease in women, as
Kurdistan, which has relative safety and stability
that you donít find elsewhere in Iraq, has
increasingly attracted foreign businessmen and
tourists since the overthrow of Saddam Husseinís
regime in 2003.
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