Awareness on HIV/Aids prevention stressed

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MEDICAL experts Sunday
stressed that the mass awareness campaigns should be launched to educate people about preventive measures and treatment options for HIV AIDS.
Talking to PTV, The Program Manager, HIV/AIDS Control Program Sindh, Dr. Sikandar Memon stressed the need for creating awareness about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), saying people in Pakistan were either unaware of their infection or hiding it due to social and cultural taboos.
“Awareness is very much needed in general public at large and specifically healthcare providers and awareness program have been launched in Sindh to minimize the infection of HIV/AIDS”, he added.
He also highlighted the importance of media in creating awareness among masses, saying public awareness seminars should also be organized in this connection.
He explained drug addicts, transgenders are the main source of spreading HIV and AIDs and claimed individuals were spreading the infection in Sindh.
Unsafe, but common, practices such as reusing syringes and drips caused children being infected with HIV diseases in country, he said.
He said according to World Health Organization , unsafe injection practices and poor infection control is likely to be the most important driver of the outbreak,”
Expert said there was a need to work with parents, and health-care professions, to warn against the rampant overuse of syringes and drips.
The Dr said federal government was in touch with the Sindh health department to provide all out assistance to overcome the alarming situation. Expert said the disease was also spreading in other part of the world because of quacks as they used instruments which were not sterilized.
AIDS Expert Dr Shobah Lakshami noted that patients were at particular risk of contracting diseases or viruses at such clinics, where injections were often pushed as a primary treatment option.
Sharing a needle or syringe for any use, including injecting drugs under the skin (skin popping), steroids, hormones or silicone, could put you at risk of HIV and other infections found in the blood like hepatitis C, she added.
The Dr stressed the need to enforce ban on the reuse of syringes and called for the provision of safe blood transfusions.