Organisers of the International AIDS conference in Mexico City this week called for the release of two HIV-specialist doctors held by the Iranian Government.

Kamiar Alaei and Arash Alaei, both Iranian citizens, were arrested by security forces in late June. A reason for their arrest has not been offered.

The Alaei brothers were working to integrate harm reduction and prevention of HIV into the Islamic country’s health policy, mirroring the successful Australian policies from the 1980s that are now regarded as world-leading.

The International AIDS Society said in a statement neither of the brothers was known to have any involve-ment in political activities.

The IAS joins global health professionals, HIV advocates and concerned individuals in asking for their immediate release, the statement said.

They were to have presented a case study on HIV and harm reduction in Iran at the AIDS 2008 conference today.

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