World AIDS Day observed in Pakistan

World Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Day was observed in different parts of Pakistan to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the epidemic. Several activities were arranged by various public and private organizations to observe the day by arranging awareness walks, seminars and discussions to educate people about the disease. In his message on the occasion, President Arif Alvi reiterated the government’s promise to work towards the eradication of HIV and AIDS from the country. The federal and provincial governments are conscious of their responsibilities and accord high preference to prevention and treatment of this disease. As reported by World Health Organisation HIV continues to be a huge global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far. About 940,000 people died from HIV-related causes globally in 2017.HIV infection are often diagnosed through rapid diagnostic tests which detect the presence or absence of HIV antibodies. Most often these tests provide same-day test results, which are essential for same-day diagnosis and early treatment and care. This year, the World AIDS Day is really important for Pakistan after the discovery of a number of HIV/AIDS cases in the town of Ratodero in Sindh. Media’s attention and public reaction to the cases was a powerful reminder of the dislike of successive governments and our society towards the global epidemic, for which so far no treatment has been found. In the pas the World AIDS Day was hardly acknowledged in Pakistan as the people would regard HIV/AIDS as a sub-Saharan African problem or a distant disease. Continuous neglect to the disease and precautionary non awareness has delivered it at our doorstep. There is the need to inform the public that the epidemic, which has millions as positive cases, can be as medical discoveries have let the people tested positive to live longer, more healthy lives. Many people tested HIV/AIDS positive have been excluded by communities in different areas of Pakistan because of social disgrace of being infected. Pakistan absence of data on deaths from the infectious killer but worldwide, HIV/AIDS remains the leading life taker. As stated by UNAID, there are 160,000 HIV positive people in Pakistan, and they are those who are registered with the state-run AIDS control programme. The number could be worse as many even do not know if they are infected or not. This is due to prevailing ignorance about the disease and the scarcity of testing and screening facilities across the country. It is time the disease to be cured so that a new generation remains safe from the infectious destruction.
The diclosure of 320 cases in Punjab districts in October alone insists on the fact that a large screening needs to be held across Pakistan as each of us should know our HIV/AIDS situation. Likewise each of us needs to play our proper role in educating those communities about the concealed danger who may not know the fatal scale of the infectious killer. Besides medical communities also should do research and cooperate with international bodies working on finding possible ways to manage the disease. No one is sure about when a cure to the disease will be found, until then only preventive measures can save people. Those tested positive should not be labeled, instead they should be treated as common people. The subject is part of a larger uneasiness that afflicts Pakistan’s healthcare system. Social prescription, unqualified doctors and hazardous sexual and medical practices, including the reuse of syringes, sharing of needles by drug users, insufficient screening of blood donors, and infected surgical and dialysis equipment, have all contributed to Pakistan’s place among the 11 countries with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS. In the year, there were more than 160,000 HIV-positive people in Pakistan, as stated by UNAIDS, while the number of AIDS-related deaths has accelerated by 369 percent since 2010. Popular story holds that drug users, male, female and transgender commercial sex workers and prisoners are in danger of being infected. Furthermore a number of migrant workers, having acquired the virus because of dangerous sexual activity, infect their innocent spouses upon their return. Regrettably a large number of people have restricted way to healthcare services and are unmindful of safe medical practices. Fundamentally societal attitudes towards HIV/AIDS have intricate matters. Those infected are often rejected by society, and this avoids many others from seeking medical help or involvement for their symptoms. As Pakistan observes World Aids Day today, the statistics shared by UNAIDS are worth thinking over. Pakistan has 160,000 adults living with HIV of which 48,000 are women of 15 years or greater. HIV treatment is little regular among women than men, with 7 percent of grown up women living with HIV on cure compared to 11 percent adult men. The country also has an estimated population of 52,400 transgender persons, who have an HIV prevalence rate of 5.5 per cent.

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