KARACHI- Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is claiming more lives in Pakistan than ever, according to the first-of-its-kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries released yesterday. The study reveals an 11 percent increase in mortality rates from HIV/AIDS in Pakistan. However, it also reports a decline in the death rates from tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in Pakistan since 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established to stop the spread of these diseases by 2015. “Working closely with our WHO office, Pakistan has prioritized tackling tuberculosis and malaria, and I think we are seeing what happens when you invest in improving the prompt diagnosis and treatment of these deadly diseases. Now, we need to make sure that HIV/AIDS does not take more lives in Pakistan than it already has,” stated Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, the founding director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University.
Worldwide, deaths from HIV/AIDS have declined at a rate of 1.5 percent between 2000 and 2013, while tuberculosis deaths declined by 3.7 percent. However Pakistan seems to be moving in the opposite direction with regard to HIV/AIDS.