PESHAWAR:  Dr Saleem Director Aids Program addressing a press conference at PPC. INP PHOTO by S A Saddiqi

Community to play vital part to control spread of HIV/Aids, says Dr Saleem

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) concentrated in specific group of people can be controlled by medication left untreated leads to Aids.

Majority of HIV patients are those who inject drugs, Trans-Genders and male-female sex workers said by Dr Mohammed Saleem Khan project director HIV/AIDs at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Dr. Mohammed Saleem Khan, deputy project director HIV/Aids Dr Mudasir Sehzad on Friday briefed media about this year world (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) AIDs day at Peshawar Press Club.

Dr. Saleem added that HIV is a virus which effect immunity of human body, this virus spread through exchange of body fluids like semen, virginal fluids and blood from an infected person to another person.

Dr. Saleem further said that “communities make the difference “is the theme for this year world’s aids day because communities can contribute to AIDs response in many different ways. Their leadership and advocacy ensure relevant and grounded response, keeping people at centers and leaving no one behind.

He further added that communities include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV, women and young people, counselors, religious leaders, community health workers, door to door service providers, civil society organization and grass root activists. Dr. Mudasir Shehzad informed that national prevalence among Patients of HIV who inject drugs are 38.4 percent, Transgender 7.6 percent, male-female sex workers 7.4 percent in Pakistan as whole.

Similarly Punjab provinces add 50 percent cases of aids, Sindh province 43 percent, KP 4.5 percent while Baluchistan 2.5 percent. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa people who inject drugs are 7.8 percent, transgender 3.3 percent, male female sex workers 3 percent while HIV prevalence among general population is still below 0.1 percent. In KP 5432 patients of HIV patients were registered in family care center MTI Hayatabad Medical Complex, MTI lady reading hospital Peshawar and DHQ Teaching Hospital Kohat, Dr. Sehzad added.

There are 8 treatment and care centers of HIV/AIDs established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which include Family care center at MTI Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar, MTI Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, District Headquarter Teaching Hospital Kohat, MTI Mardan Medical Complex, Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbotabad, District Headquarter Hospital Dera Ismail Khan and District Headquarter Hospital Batkhela, Dr. Sehzad said.

Dr Sehzad further said that Print, electronic and social media can play a pivotal role in mobilizing the community having tremendous reach and influence in society. The common goal combating menace of HIV/AIDs in society must be addressed to public at large.

Stigma is the main hurdle for the communities in accessing the health facilities. The other issue is to portray dislike the HIV/AIDs not the people who effected by it and create a softer image of the key populations in the community for their care and support, Dr. Sehzad added.

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