ISLAMABAD      -        In Pakistan AIDS disease is getting alarming day by day and according to an estimate approximately 165,000 patients are suffering from HIV virus in Pakistan. On average 22,000 patients suffer from HIV annually in Pakistan. This was stated by Dr. Baseer Achkazi, National Program Manager, National Aids Control Program (NACP), while talking with media here on the World Aids Day.

According to details, the World AIDS Day was observed with the theme `Communities Make the Difference’ on Sunday to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and express solidarity with people living with the pandemic. The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care around the world.  Dr. Baseer further said that Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination is at the forefront to mobilizing resources and advocating for the cause of prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.

The government with the support of international organizations is fully committed to provide preventive and medical facilities to patients suffering from HIV virus. Patients hesitate to register themselves with NACP but due to continuous efforts we have seen increase of registered people with NACP from 4,500 in 2013 to 36,902 in 2019.  The ministry continues to strive to make bold efforts in accelerating progress towards epidemic control. The ministry and NACP have engaged in various collaborations between the Provincial Governments and International organizations. NACP has formulated various strategic plans and an enabling environment for testing of people for HIV/AIDS.  This also includes provision and adherence of treatment services to combat the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. In 2019, 50,000 people has used the free test facility from different treatment centres across Pakistan and on positive results they were registered by NACP. But only 10 percent people go for HIV test which is an alarming situation for government as well as international organizations.

Despite efforts by NACP to indulge in implementing evidence-based, targeted prevention interventions among key population groups, new infections have increased in the recent years. Pakistan now faces a concentrated epidemic because of the injecting drug users with HIV prevalence of HIV/AIDS.  Dr. Baseer Achkazai further added that 17 community based organizations were taken onboard by the National AIDS Control Programme.