The global incidence of HIV and AIDS is decreasing, yet in Pakistan the figures stand in sharp contrast. The global community is very close to achieving its target of ‘zero new infections’ by the end of 2015, yet in Pakistan the number of infected has increased from 90,000 to 130,000 in just a year, from 2012-2013. And it is important to remember that this figure is not even close to being accurate because it cannot even begin to account for the unreported incidents. Given that the various institutions of health and medical care are weak and not nearly efficient enough to cater to the entire populace, most cases lie buried in the ground along with the bodies of those infected.

Added to that, the social discomfort attached to anything to do with sexual health is so prevalent that people feel that it is in their best interests to keep their silence because discussing it would be frowned upon. This taboo needs to be removed before anything is done about the disease. The people that think that it goes against their belief system to talk about and try and fix a problem that affects millions, and threatens to continue to do so for future generations unless something is done, need to reevaluate their perspective. It is imperative that the discussion on sexually transmitted diseases is taken to a proper platform in Pakistan for only through dialogue can awareness be increased.

The government needs to recognize this issue, given the fact that it was one of the millennium development goals our country was supposed to be achieving and considering the fact that protection of civilians is also something that the state is supposed to look out for. Previous governments have attempted to introduce initiatives to spread awareness about birth control methods and contraceptives, but those moves have been met with disdain by the public. Yet the responsibility of the government is such that it must look out for the best interests of the people whether they see it or not. They have been selected for that purpose, for individuals do not possess enough information to always know what is best for them. It is time that issues such as this are no longer swept under the carpet, because while the rest of the world is looking to divert its attentions towards other issues, we are lagging behind, and the detriment is entirely ours.