KARACHI– ‘At least 29 people had died from HIV/AIDS across the Sindh province in 2014 and majority of deaths and cases occurred among injecting drug users.’ This was stated by Dr Sikander Ali Shah, Provincial Program Manager, Sindh AIDS Control Program (SACP) recently.
According to Dr Shah, 29 people had expired last year from AIDS throughout the province out of which 24 were male, four female and one child. He said over 400 HIV/AIDS new cases had been registered in 2014.
Dr Shah said Sindh AIDS Program had registered 3,621 HIV/AIDS positive cases since 2006 out of which 3079 were male, 408 female, 102 children and 32 transgender. He said all registered patients were given HIV/AIDS treatment at various centers. Of approximately 87,000 people were living with HIV/AIDs in Pakistan out of which 40 to 45 percent were in Sindh.
He explained 80 percent HIV/ AIDS cases were reported from Karachi out of total registered in Sindh province but all infected people did not belong to Karachi and Sindh. He said five new AIDS diagnostic & treatment centers would be established in different cities of province soon and PC-1 of these centers are under process.
Dr Shah said new diagnostic & treatment center would be established at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Karachi, and in Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas.
according to Dr Shah, currently five diagnostic and treatment centers were operating under Sindh AIDS Program with two at Civil Hospital Karachi; one at Indus Hospital, One at Aga Khan Hospital and one at Larkana.
He said major high risk groups of HIV/AIDS prevalence were injecting drug users (IDUs), male homosexuals, long distance truck drivers, female sex workers, transgender sex workers, jail inmates, children born to infected parent, street children and victims of unsafe medical procedures.
Explaining further he said that HIV virus takes five to ten years to transform into AIDS disease. He said HIV virus generally decreases the immunity power but proper usage of medicines can also help increase patients’ immunity.
He said Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are also working with Provincial AIDS Program under public private partnership to root out this disease from the province.