Dubai: At least 300 people, including children, are believed to have been infected with HIV in number of Iranian villages by a medical assistant using a contaminated syringe, according to Iranian media sources.
Videos of the riots are being circulated around social media from the Iranian villages since Saturday, which cannot be verified. But Iran human rights monitor have published videos on their twitter accounts of tanks being dispatched to quell the protests.
According to media outlets more than 300 people are accusing local Iranian medical officials of infecting them with the HIV virus, in the village of Chenar Mahmoud and the towns of Lordegan, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari.
Reports have said that people got the HIV during a widespread diabetes campaign two months ago, held in these villages. They were tested for diabetes with contaminated syringes.
Protesters, according to Iran human rights monitor, told that the agent from the House of Health had used contaminated syringe to test multiple people, leading to the infection of a large number of residents of this village.
In a video on social media, one man is seen saying that “The people of Chenar Mahmoud are scared. Many refrain from taking blood tests out of fear of finding out they have been infected.’
Adding: "Every family of two or three has become inflicted with the virus. Anyone who has taken the test has turned out to be positive. And no one asks this regime, why you need to test a nine-year-old kid for cholesterol and blood sugar and inflict them with AIDS.”
Another protester is seen with his little girl shouting that local health clinic infected him, his daughter, sister, wife, 2 brothers and nephew with HIV from used needles. He said that while 208 people have so far tested HIV+, the state-run media are spreading lies.
The protests began last Wednesday, and have been documented across social media and reported by Iran news agency, Mehr.
The health ministry is not taking responsibility for the incident, blaming the HIV contamination on addicts and sexual immorality in the village.
A women in Chenar Mahmoud in Lordegan, southern Iran, is seen on video criticizing government saying: "Officials are blaming the HIV outbreak on addicts and sexual immorality in the village while more than 200 people were infected after a diabetes test."
People got angry after health ministry statement, and on Saturday stormed in to the office of the local Imam and setting it on fire, and protesting in front of government buildings. Government sent troops to quell the protests leading to clashes.
Several people were wounded and an unspecified number of people detained.
Provincial Governor Eqbal Abbasi told state TV shots had been fired, although he did not specify by whom.
Also unverified videos on Social media shows other cities in Iran like Isfahan protesting in support of the victims and their demands, chanting slogans against Iranian regime.