Pak under AIDs attack


INADEQUATE measures for curtailing HIV/AIDs have brought embarrassment to Pakistan as the United Nations has put it on the list of eleven countries that have the highest prevalence of disease: 13 per cent in its latest report. It is the highest ratio of HIV prevalence the country has touched during the last decade raising concerns among global health partners.
The UNAIDs-2019 analysis revealed that the world is on track to end the AIDs epidemic by 2030 but Pakistan is amongst the countries where ratio of new AIDs cases saw a sharp increase. It is the same kind of situation that we have witnessed in polio cases. Whilst the world has gotten rid of polio, Pakistan is only amongst the three countries where this crippling virus still exists and is taking its toll on our children. Now increase in HIV/AIDs cases should ring alarm bells in the relevant quarters and federal and provincial governments should coordinate efforts to reverse this trend. National AIDS Control Programme established back in 1986-87 needs to be further strengthened which should take on board the provinces to meet the challenge. Without proper attention and intervention immediately, the HIV emergence can develop into full-blown cases of AIDS, one of the most miserable conditions a person can endure. Quite recently, we also saw the high prevalence of HIV/AIDs in Larkana district of Sindh province which triggered fright and uncertainty amongst the masses. Firstly, there is need to launch a proper awareness programmes using different mediums to minimize the infection of HIV/AIDs. This outbreak should be taken as a health emergency and there is need to act fast against medical malpractices including unsafe blood transfusion. Crackdown should be launched against quacks and unlicensed medical practitioners. The people also need to be careful be it the use of syringes or the blades. There is also need to do away with taboos surrounding the sexual health and practices that make it difficult for those suffering from this dangerous disease to seek medical help. Stigma attached to the disease needs also to be addressed in order to check its rise.

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