Five new AIDS diagnostic centers soon in Sindh

KARACHI: Provincial Program Manager, Sindh AIDS Control Program (SACP) Dr Sikander Ali Shah, on Thursday said five new AIDS diagnostic centers would be established in different cities of Sindh province soon and preparation of a PC-1 of these centers is in final stage.

He shared these views while addressing an awareness session on HIV/AIDS for media at a local hotel which was organized by Sindh AIDS Control Program in connection of World AIDS Day, observed on 1st December every year.

Dr Shah said new diagnostic & treatment centre would be established in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Karachi, Liaquat Medical University Hospital Hyderabad, Civil Hospitals of Shaheed Benazirabad and Sukkur.

He said currently five diagnostic and treatment centers are being run under Sindh AIDS Program: two in Civil Hospital Karachi, one in Indus Hospital, one in Aga Khan Hospital and one in Larkana.

He said program management has started different awareness campaigns collaboration with religious scholars, media persons, and traffic police and healthcares providers in order to increase the awareness level in the society.

Monitoring & Alleviation Officer, Sindh AIDS Control Program, Dr Aftab Ahmed said 994 HIV/AIDS positive cases have been already been reported in year 2014 out of them 905 are males. He said AIDS Program has registered 3,524 HIV/AIDS positive cases since 2003: 2990 males, 401 females, and remaining transgender. He said total 265 people have died of HIV/AIDS since 2003, while 29 expired this year.

He said over 100,000 people are infected from HIV/AIDs in Pakistan. He informed that around 3500 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the world, while 25 million people have already died of the virus and most of deaths are reported from South Africa.

Dr Rajinder Kumar said major high risk groups of HIV/AIDS prevalence include long-distance truck drivers, female sex workers, transgender sex workers, men having sex with men (MSMs), injecting drug users (IDUs), jail inmates, children born to infected parents, street children and victims of unsafe medical procedures.

He said explained 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 could help to increase patient’s immunity. He said 11 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are also working with Provincial AIDS Program under public-private partnership to eliminate this disease from the province.

He said media is an important tool to raise awareness in the society and they should play their due role creating awareness and education about HIV/AIDS.

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