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Known as Persia prior to 1935, Iran was one of the greatest empires of the ancient world. Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979, when the monarchy was overthrown, and clerics assumed political control.

Although the prevalence of infectious diseases is relatively low in Iran (less than one per cent for HIV), it is much higher in vulnerable groups. MSF provides free healthcare to excluded and marginalised groups in south Tehran, including drug users, sex workers, street children and the Ghorbati ethnic minority.

The team operates a referral system and runs mobile clinics in partnership with Society for Recovery Support, a local organisation which specialises in support for addicts and provides psychosocial assistance, harm reduction and shelter.

MSF runs a clinic offering a comprehensive package of medical services designed for high-risk patients who suffer from stigma and/or require further assistance with following their treatment. Services include counselling, psycho-social aid, medical and mental health consultations, ante- and postnatal care, family planning and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

A quarter of the patients MSF sees in Tehran, Iran's capital, are children under five years old.

MSF is currently running a project located in south of Tehran (one of the most vulnerable areas named as Harandi area), dedicated to vulnerable women and children under 15. MSF provides medical and psychological care, as well as social support to most at risk population for infectious diseases as sexually transmitted infections (STI), Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV-AIDS positive cases and tuberculosis.

More than 60% of the 160,000 HIV patients in the country are drug users, and an estimated 50% to 75% of injectable-drug users have hepatitis C.

Special attention is given to drug users, sex workers, ex-drug users, direct family members of drug addicted people, (Afghan) labour children and local nomadic communities. MSF is providing health training through group consultation for drug users (with support of mental health team -including psychologist, social workers and peer workers).

Find out more about Iran