Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health stated on July 9 that while 435 HIV cases have been recorded in the country, as many as 2,000-2,500 people may be living with the virus in the nation of almost 32 million, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reports ( 7/9).

The ministry said that many factors within the country help to spread the virus: three decades of war, poverty, illiteracy, drug trafficking and unsafe injection practices and blood transfusion. The ministry added that the World Bank, at the request of the Afghan health ministry, granted $10 million to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and reduce discrimination against people living with the disease in the country.