UNAIDS Regional Director a.i., Rangaiyan Gurumurthy, visited the Islamic Republic of Iran 03-08 September 2018 to take part in the 12th International Addiction Science Congress (ASC2018) as well as meet with counterparts, with the primary aim of fast-tracking implementation of the Prevention Road Map, which Iran’s Minister of Health endorsed during the 71st World Health Assembly.
In his keynote address to ASC2018, he underlined the need to maintain and increase focus on HIV combination prevention based on proven interventions, including comprehensive harm reduction for people who inject drugs, in order to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. In two panel discussions on HIV and harm reduction, integration of harm reduction in the health system, expansion of ART services in harm reduction centers and differentiated care in HIV service delivery amongst other topics were discussed.
Mr Gurumurthy also met with senior country and UN officials during his visit, including Dr Moussavi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Drs Raeisi, Haghdoost and Gouya of the Ministry of Health; and Ms Ugo Daniels, the UN Resident Coordinator. In these meetings, Mr Gurumurthy emphasised Iran’s achievements in response to the HIV epidemic as well as the continued strategic value of the collaboration between Iran and the UNAIDS family, at both country and global levels.
During his trip, the UNAIDS Regional Director also visited a harm reduction centre in south Tehran to observe Iran’s renowned harm reduction programme first-hand, and attended the launch of the HIV-themed music album “Getting to Zero”, which was produced with UNAIDS backing.
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