The alarming situation in the country as there’s a Rise in cases of HIV recorded.
According to official data, 9,773 people tested positive for HIV in Pakistan in the last 10 months of 2022, raising serious doubts about HIV prevention and control efforts and indicating the spread from key populations to the general public.
According to reports More than 1,000 new HIV cases are reported monthly from all four provinces, Islamabad, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan. HIV is spreading from drug injectors, male, female, and transgender sex workers to the general population, an NHSR&C official told the Private Media Channel.
Pakistan has spent hundreds of millions of dollars from the Global Fund and other international donors to contain and prevent HIV, but new infections are rising.
According to UNAIDS, a large proportion of low-risk males, females, and clients of key populations are newly infected, suggesting an increase in HIV transmission to bridging populations (spouses, partners, and clients).
According to the official data, Punjab tops in new HIV cases where 6,106 people have tested positive from January to October 2022, followed by Sindh where 2,097 people have tested positive for HIV in the last 10 months, while 815 new HIV cases have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the current year till 31st October 2022.
Similarly, 316 new HIV cases have been reported from Balochistan while 496 new HIV cases have been reported from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) from January to October 2022, the official data indicate.
Punjab is the most affected province with respect to HIV in Pakistan, 400 people tested positive in January, 475 in February, 572 in March, 547 in April, 610 in May, 723 in June, 669 in July, 701 in August, 712 in September and 697 in the month of October 2022, the official data shows.
With 2,097 new cases in 10 months of the current year, Sindh was second with new HIV cases where 164 cases were reported in January, 148 in February, 182 in March, 201 in April, 183 in May, 211 in June, 181 in July, 169 in August, 236 in September and 140 new cases were reported in October 2022, the official data indicate.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had 815 new HIV cases in the first 10 months of the current year with 71 new cases reported in January, 96 in February, 71 in March, 61 in April, 68 in May, 85 in June, 84 in July, 87 in August, 101 in September and 91 in October 2022.
Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) reported 496 new HIV cases in first 10 months of the current year with 36 cases in January, 57 in February, 38 in March, 33 in April, 43 in May, 72 in June, 51 in July, 59 in August, 60 in September and 47 in October 2022, the official data indicated.
Balochistan had the lowest number of new HIV cases in the first 10 months of the current year where 259 HIV cases were reported with 32 cases in January, 18 in February, 27 in March, 31 in April, 21 in May, 40 in June, 19 in July, 27 in August, 29 in September and 15 in the month of October 20022, the official data indicate.
Commenting on the spread of HIV in Pakistan, renowned infectious diseases specialist and expert on HIV Dr. Faisal Mehmood said one of the reasons behind more HIV cases as compared to the past is that millions of tests are being done in the country and added that Men-having-Sex-with Men or MSM and the poor Infection Prevention and Control were the major reasons for the spread of HIV in Pakistan.