150,000 People HIV Positive in Country, SC Told
The News - Pakistan
August 29, 2018
ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was informed on Tuesday that Pakistan has an estimated 150,000 people living with HIV of which approximately 75,000 of the PLHIV are in Punjab, 60,000 in Sindh and around 15,000 of PLHIV are based inKP and province of Balochistan.
The Ministry of National Health Services submitted a report before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, hearing a case regarding spreading of HIV/AIDS in the country. According to the report, some 150,000 people of country are living with HIV wherein the province of Punjab having some 75,000 people with PLHIV while the province of Sindh is on second position with some 60,000 and around 15000 of the PLHIV are based in KP and Province of Blaochsitan respectively. It was informed that in June-July 2008 a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Jalalpur Jattan (JPJ), Gujrat, arranged two HIV screening camps. Of the 246 individuals screened 88 were found HIV positive on the recommended WHO three test protocol and referred to the ART Center Lahore.
It was informed that the Pakistan Field Epidemology Training and Laboratory Training Programme (FELTP) investigated the outbreak and found infected therapeutic use (use of same syringe on multiple patients by quacks) to be the source of infections.
The report revealed that an estimated 20,000 new HIV infections were added to the Pool of PLHIV in the country of which 28 percent of the new infection occurred in PWID, 12 percent in MSN, 3 percent in TGS and 2 percent in FSW3. A significant percentage of low risk males, females and clients of KPS were newly infected suggesting an increase in HIV transmission to bridging population (spouses, partners and clients) of key population.
According to the report the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) to date, continue to provide free of cost HIV treatment and diagnostic services through 33 HIV treatment centers (adult and peadiatric) across the country.
It added till December 2017, the NACP provided comprehensive care and support services vi 21 Community Home Based Care (CHBC) Sites to the marginalised HIV infected individuals and their family members in the form of food and nutritional support and travel support to ART centers to get live saving antiretroviral medicines.
During the hearing the Chief Justice observed that unfortunately AIDS has become a cancer and there should be an advocacy campaign for its prevention, adding that the government should allocates special funds for its prevention.
The CJP said that the recommendations of the Ministry of National Health Services should be made public and the ministry should upload it on its own website so that proposals and recommendations could be received at national level.
The court directed AG and advocate generals of four provinces to come up with their respective proposals as well as objections and submit a comprehensive report within 10 days and adjourned the hearing.
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