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December 12, 2019

Efforts stressed to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS

Peshawar

December 12, 2019

PESHAWAR: Health experts at a seminar have underscored the need for creating awareness among the people about the causes leading to the spread of the HIV/AIDS to put the brakes on the prevalence of this disease in the country.

The Khyber Medical University (KMU)-Institute of Public Health & Social Sciences (IPH&SS) had organised the seminar in connection with the World AIDS Day.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Secretary Muhammad Yahya Akhunzada was the chief guest whereas Vice-Chancellor KMU Prof Dr Arshad Javaid was the guest of honour.

Besides others, Registrar KMU Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Gandapur, Project Director AIDS Control Programme KP Dr Muhammad Saleem Khan, CEO Healthcare Commission Dr Maqsud and Pro VC KMU Prof Dr Ziaul Haq were also present at the occasion.

Speaking at the seminar, Muhammad Yahya Akhunzada reiterated the government’s promise to work towards the eradication and control of HIV/ AIDS from society.

The health secretary maintained that the provincial government was conscious of its responsibilities and it accorded preference to prevention and treatment of this disease.

He said this year, World AIDS Day was important for Pakistan after the discovery of several HIV/AIDS cases in the province of Sindh.

Dr Arshad Javaid said that according to UNAIDS, there were 160,000 HIV positive people in Pakistan, and they were the ones registered with the state-run AIDS control programmes.

He added that the number of patients could be higher as many even did not know if they were infected or not.

“This is due to prevailing ignorance about the disease and the scarcity of testing and screening facilities across the country,” he said, adding that it was high time to take steps to treat the ones suffering from this disease.

“Each of us needs to play our proper role in educating those communities about this danger. Those who test positive should be treated as common people,” he added.

Talking at the seminar, Project Director AIDS Control Programme Dr Muhammad Saleem Khan highlighted that 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 contributed to the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan.