Thursday, August 18, 2022

Pakistan is the second highest in the world with fastest spread of HIV infection


Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at

According to Radio Monte Carlo International, Pakistan is the second country in the world in the highest rates of HIV / AIDS.

Nearly 700 people, mostly children, have recently been infected with HIV in southern Pakistan, especially by injecting infected needles, local authorities announced Sunday.

“A total of 681 people, including 537 children aged between 2 and 12 years old, were found to have been positive until yesterday in Ratudero,” said Dr Zafar Mirza, health adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at a state television news conference.

He pointed out that “the use of needles used may be one of the causes of the outbreak of the disease,” pointing out that more than 21 thousand people have been tested in this region.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan intends to unveil drastic measures to prevent the disease once we determine the cause of its spread,” the government spokesman said, adding that these cases were a source of “serious concern” to the government.

Investigators say a pediatrician infected with HIV could be behind the spread of the epidemic in Ratudero. This currently imprisoned man denies that the virus was deliberately transmitted to patients.

Pakistan has a relatively low prevalence of HIV infection, but the disease is spreading rapidly in the country, especially among drug addicts and sex workers.

With about 20,000 new HIV infections in 2017 alone, Pakistan ranked second on the list of countries with the fastest spread of AIDS in Asia, according to UN statistics.

The country with high population growth suffers from a lack of medical infrastructure that has long been neglected by the authorities, while the threat to poor rural communities is compounded by the proliferation of counterfeit doctors.

According to government data, some 600,000 people are registered as doctors in the country, and about 270,000 of them are active in Sindh province, according to a statement issued by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) mid-month.

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