HIV outbreak in Pakistan - a wakeup call?
Rohan Kumar Ochani, Asim Shaikh, Ameema Asad, Simran Batra.
Keywords:Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Human Immunodefiency virus, outbreak, Pakistan, public health
Human immune-deficiency virus (HIV) is a global threat with an estimated 38.6 million people being previously infected while 25 million of them have succumbed to the disease. In Pakistan, since 2004, there has been a 50-fold increase from 2700 to 130,000 in the number of people infected with HIV, while Sub- Saharan Africa alone bears the heaviest burden of HIV having 25 million infected individuals. Considering these devastating numbers, it was alarming to find that in June 2019, 751 new cases of HIV were diagnosed in Larkana, in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Therefore, to make sure that the efforts of international institutions like The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) which are trying to effectively reduce the spread of HIV are such regions is streamlined it is extremely important to highlight some of the underlying causes which are endemic to such regions such as re-using of blades by barbers and the practice of re-using needles by un-licensed medical practitioners offering miraculous cures. It is also equally important to suggest and re-iterate possible ways in which this situation, which is rapidly worsening, can be improved.
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