EDITORIAL REVIEWHIV in Iran: onset, responses, and future directionsSeyedAlinaghi, SeyedAhmada,∗; Taj, Leilaa,∗; Mazaheri-Tehrani, Elhama; Ahsani-Nasab, Saraa; Abedinzadeh, Negina; McFarland, Willib; Mohraz, Minooa; Mirzazadeh, Alib,cAuthor Information aIranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran bDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute for Global Health Sciences, University of California San Francisco, USA cHIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran. Correspondence to Minoo Mohraz, Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Keshavarz Blvd, Tehran, Iran. Tel: +98 2166581583; fax: +98 2166947984; e-mail: [email protected] Received 28 October, 2020 Accepted 3 November, 2020 Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (http://www.AIDSonline.com). AIDS: March 15, 2021 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 529-542 doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002757 Buy SDC Metrics Abstract Iran, a country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has been actively involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the past three decades. The unique features of the HIV epidemic in Iran are reflected by the modes of transmission and its recent changes to improve management and prevention programs. In this review, we recount the initial onset and subsequent spread of HIV infection in Iran, beginning with the first case diagnosed to the ongoing responses and most recent achievements in controlling this epidemic. Although in the MENA region, Iran is one of the pioneers in implementing pertinent policies including harm reduction services to decrease HIV incidence, drug injection still continues to be the major risk of infection. In line with other nations, the programs in Iran aim at the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets (UNAIDS 90-90-90 global targets to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020: by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression) and to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission. In this article, we discuss the strengths and shortcomings of the current HIV programs and offer suggestions to provide a better perspective to track and respond to the HIV epidemic. More generally, our account of the national religious and cultural circumstances as well as obstacles to the approaches chosen can provide insights for decision-makers in other countries and institutions with comparable settings and infrastructures. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.