According to Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry, the country’s HIV prevalence is low but transmission risk remains high, Reuters reports (, 5/26).

The article reports that 435 cases of HIV have been recorded in Afghanistan but notes that the ministry believes that as many as  2,000 to 2,500 people may be living with the virus.

The ministry adds that “war, poverty, illiteracy, massive international and external displacement, the high level of poppy cultivation, drug trafficking and usage, the existence of commercial and unsafe sex, unsafe injection practices and blood transfusion are potential risk factors for [HIV’s] spread.”