ISLAMABAD - The international World AIDS Day is being marked today like every year for those who are HIV positive but it also has equal importance to Shafaqt Nisa who is HIV negative but this particular day reminds her of the fourteen years of sufferings she has undergone. Currently Shafaqt is associated with an NGO that is working for the welfare of people living with HIV and AIDS. Neither she nor any of her four children are HIV positive but she along with her innocent children experienced more suffering then her late husband witnessed during seven years after he was diagnosed as an AIDS patient. Her husband contracted HIV fourteen years ago when he went to Saudi Arabia for work purpose. She has four children two sons and two daughters. Her husband Akhtar contracted HIV in 1996 in Saudi Arabia and in 2002 he died. When I came to know that my husband was HIV positive it was the worst day of my life but I did not lose hope and continued to struggle against this stigma that unfortunately still prevailing in our society. "At this tough time everyone left us but I decided firmly to stand with my husband and I did as till his death". She looked after her husband like a nurse and remained with him till last minute. She even decided to give bath to him when the male family members hesitated to do so. The pain she and all her family experienced because of this disease motivated her to devote her life for the patients of this disease. The person who is suffering through this fatal disease experience the discriminatory attitude of society but his or her family also goes through the same pain and agony said Shafaqt while describing her ordeal. People started avoiding us, as it seems that my whole house has the HIV infection said Shafqat while sharing her bitter memories of her past with this scribe. Every one left us we had no one to support us. Even our relatives started making mock of my whole family and me. Even my brothers started avoiding us although they were aware of the fact that she does not have this disease. Now after extensive efforts of fourteen years she has took sigh of relief as now her elder son has gone aboard for higher studies while the younger one is studying engineering in Pakistan while the other two daughters are also studying. She is not only a ray of hope for those who are suffering from this incurable disease but certainly she is a minaret of light. There are 38.6 million people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide and it is the worst epidemic humanity has ever faced It is estimated that in Pakistan around 70,000 to 80,000 people are suffering though HIV/AIDS and the disease prevalence rate among Injecting Drug Users it is about 20 percent and only 5000 patients are registered with National Aids Control Programme. Pakistan is currently classified to be in "concentrated epidemics phase" by WHO and UNAIDS definition but a high-risk country for a further spread of HIV infection to the general population. High levels of use of non-sterile injecting equipment and other risk behaviors offer the HIV epidemics considerable scope for growth in Pakistan. The awareness among the people about HIV and AIDS is very low in Pakistan and that is why people living with HIV and AIDS are facing lot of stigma and discrimination not only from the general public but also from the health care providers as well. This year 1st December will mark the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. the World AIDS Campaign set this year's theme for World AIDS Day as "Lead - Empower - Deliver", building on last year's theme of "Take the Lead". Designating leadership as the World AIDS Day theme for 2007.