Govt adopts holistic strategy for prevention, treatment of AIDS

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Islamabad—President Mamnoon Hussain has said that a holistic strategy has been adopted by National AIDS Control Programme focusing both on prevention and treatment of the disease with special attention to vulnerable groups.
In order to minimize the spread of HIV, the government was providing care and support services through public sector hospitals free of cost including screening of blood and treatment, the President said in his message on the occasion of World AIDS Day being observed on December 1.
The President said World AIDS day was an event to addressing the menace of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan. The President said every year HIV & AIDS claimed a large number of lives globally. Pakistan, he added, was also facing a challenge from this disease due to a number of risk factors which were similar to those which had in the past led to the AIDS epidemic in other countries.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2016, the President said the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination had made concrete and concerted efforts through the National AIDS Control Programme to address various risk factors.
He said the promulgation of blood safety ordinance both at federal and provincial level and supply of diagnostic kits and laboratory consumable and equipment to all provincial, AJK FANA and federal centers were critical advances in fight against the disease.
One of the factors inhibiting the fight against AIDS, the President said, was the stigma surrounding HIV resulting in discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS.
“On this day, I call upon every citizen, particularly the health service providers, to address the issue of discrimination against people living with HIV, respect and protect their human rights and dignity,” he said.
The President urged government institutions, civil society, philanthropists, and development partners, NGOs and every citizen to refuse to perpetuate the stigma surrounding HIV in workplaces and communities and thereby help make Pakistan and the whole world free of HIV by 2030.—APP