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Sharp Rise In HIV Infections In Iran

Sharp Rise In HIV Infections In Iran

The number of HIV infections in Iran has increased nine-fold over the past 12 years, and in stark contrast with previous decades, most infections were now through sexual intercourse not use of infected needles, the country's official IRNA news agency reported on Feb. 26.

A lecturer at Tehran's Medical Science University, Mohammad Hossein Ayati, told a conference on traditional medicine that while only 10% of HIV infections in 2001-2002 were from sexual contact, 91.33% of infections "in the last year" were from sex. (He was presumably referring to the Persian year that runs to March 20, 2013.)

Ayati did not give the latest AIDS numbers in Iran, but said increased infections were "ringing a big alarm." He urged preventive measures "including abstinence, marriage and use of protection, though none of these are taught in the country through the media or other means."

Sexual issues are not freely discussed in public in Iran — or much in private — though people are effectively encouraged to marry young to prevent promiscuity.

Beyond the HIV data, Ayati told the gathering there were other "dangerous" changes to Iranians' lifestyles, including eating more meat.

-Ahmad Shayegan

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

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For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

Keep reading...Show less

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