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Editorial: HIV-AIDS in Balochistan

The 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day is being marked on today on  December 1, 2018. World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. Since then, it is organized every year by United Nations agencies, governments and civil society.

Since 1988, a remarkable progress can be witnessed that today millions of people living with HIV are leading healthy and productive lives, however, there is much more to be done, as the latest UNAIDS report proves that the great challenge is having no knowledge of HIV status. because UNAIDS estimates that more than 9.4 million people living with HIV still do not know their status.

Alarmingly, the number of AIDS patients has also increased in Balochistan. According to General Director Health Department Balochistan Dr Shakir Baloch the number of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients have been greater from 3500 to 5000 in Balochistan, despite 1334 patients were registered with AIDS control programme.

Addressing a Press conference at Quetta Press Club Dr Shakir Baloch said that 1033 registered patients in which 911 patients of HIV-AIDS are being treated in Quetta under AIDS Programme while 301 patients were under treatment in Turbat.

Dr Shakir Baloch shared that HIV-AIDS patients were also reported in respective areas of Balochistan including Qila Saifullah, Zhob, Sherani, Gwadar, Loralai, Lasbella, Noshki, Qilla Abdullah, and Pishin. Among 4404 tested prisoners in Balochistan, while 71 of them have been found suffering of HIV-AIDS”, adding, that about 6200 people died of HIV-AIDS in Pakistan while 231 men had lost their lives from same disease in Balochistan.

The growing number of AIDs patients and deaths in Balochistan is quite vexing and alarming for people in Balochistan. Balochistan is already having battle with number of diseases and humanitarian issues, the AIDs is another challenge to be confronted by the people. In order to know the status, the people with minor symptoms must visit doctors and prevention must be applied. Here the stakeholders in society have to play their due role to create awareness among people  against HIV-AIDS to save human lives from such diseases through religious teachings.

Published in The Balochistan Point on December 1, 2018

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