Calls for end to stigma towards HIV/AIDS patients

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Muhammad Usman

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Friday underscored that good behavior of doctors provide half treatment to patients, saying that discrimination and stigma towards HIV/AIDs patients especially in healthcare outlets are totally unacceptable.
“The Punjab AIDS Control Program is providing free of cost diagnostic, counseling and treatment services to HIV/AIDS patients across the province”, claimed Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid while calling for end to stigma and discrimination towards HIV/AIDS patients. Dr Yasmin was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of National Guidelines for Management of STIs jointly organized by the King Edward Medical University and UNAIDS here on Friday.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr. Faisal Sultan specially joined the event and shared his thoughts on the subject. Country Director UNAIDS Dr. Maria Elena Filio, Vice Chancellor KEMU Prof Khalid Masood Gondal, Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Medical University Prof Amir Zaman Khan, Director Punjab AIDS Control Program Dr. Munir Ahmed, Prof Dr. Ijaz Hassan, Prof Dr. Ayesha Ihsani, Prof Ayela, Prof Tahir Jamil, Dr. Shehla Shaukat, representatives of UNFPA, WHO and a large of physicians and experts attended the session. KEMU VC Prof Khalid Masood Gondal delivered welcome note on the occasion.
The health minister continued that the government appreciates the organizers for holding this important event. “We have introduced Insaf Medicine cards for patients of TB, Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS and around 180,000 cards are being be distributed for free treatment. The initiative will especially help patients of co-infections. Patients of HIV/AIDS have to take medicines throughout their lives and adherence to treatment is key to managing the disease.”
The minister said that these guidelines will greatly help experts in management of STIs among HIV/AIDs patients. She regretted that major source for spread of HIV/AIDS are quacks, re-use of infected syringes and lack of violation of SOPS during blood transfusions. The health minister added that key task of Medical Universities is to conduct research and said great efforts were already being made towards treatment Thalaessemia patients. Responding to questions of journalists, she said violation of SOPs at political gatherings is causing increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. She urged politicians to be especially careful in the wake of Second Wave of Corona Pandemic that has caused lockdowns around the world. She said prevention of Covid-19 was possible only through compliance with the SOPs and complete care was being provided in public sector hospitals.

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