ISLAMABAD: Poor Infection Prevention and Control , as well as male homosexuality, have emerged as the two major reasons for the spread of HIV in Pakistan.Unscreened blood transfusions, reuse of...
ISLAMABAD: Poor Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), as well as male homosexuality, have emerged as the two major reasons for the spread of HIV in Pakistan.
Unscreened blood transfusions, reuse of syringes by injectable drug users and healthcare settings are also some of the major causes of the spread of HIV in Pakistan, health experts associated with Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) said on Thursday.
“In addition to poor infection prevention and control, homosexuality has emerged as a major reason for the spread of HIV in Pakistan. Some transgenders are also forced to indulge in prostitution and they are also spreading HIV. There is an urgent need to check and prevent these practices to control the spread of HIV in Pakistan”, Dr Iftikhar Burney, General Secretary of PIMA told a news conference in connection with World Aids Day 2022 here at a local hotel.
Accompanied by President PIMA Punjab Dr Shabir Ahmed, Dr Mumtaz Hussain President PIMA Islamabad and Dr Muhammad Iftikhar President PIMA Islamabad, Dr Iftikhar Burney, said a large number of youngsters between the age of 18 to 25 years were increasingly being tested positive for HIV in Islamabad for their indulgence in same-sex activities under the influence of drugs. “Pakistani psychologists and psychiatrists consider homosexuality as a mental disorder and we treat homosexuals with counselling and medicines. It used to be considered a disease in the West till 1970 but in the ‘80s, they changed their attitude towards it and now they term it a personal choice but as per Pakistani and Islamic laws, it continues to be a crime and a mental disorder”, Dr Burney added.
Speaking about people living with HIV in Pakistan, he said no patient even those who contracted it through homosexuality should be discriminated and they should be provided medical treatment and a chance to live a normal life. “Now medical treatment is available where people living with HIV can live a healthy life by taking medicines on daily basis. Screening facilities should be increased in the country and those found should be given protection and respect”, he added.