islamabad          -          Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on health Dr. Zafar Mirza said on Monday that 17 percent of the HIV/AIDS infected people in country are unaware of their disease which is alarming.

He said that government in order to ensure the injection safety will replace the disposable syringes with disable syringes from the next year.

He said this in a walk organised regarding Aids control by World Health Organization (WHO) here. Dr. Zafar Mirza inaugurating the walk said that government has formed a task force to control the use and re-use of syringes in the country.

He said that disposable syringes will be replaced with disable syringes from next year and for the purpose a massive media campaign will be launched to discourage the disposable syringes. 

“Pakistan has highest ratio of per capita injections and 95 percent of them are unnecessary,” he said.  He also said that 17 percent of the people are not aware about them being infected with the HIV/AID and one of the reasons behind it is that the disease is considered a stigma in the society.

 “People avoid medical tests of HIV/AIDS,” he said.

He also urged medical professionals to act responsibly and discourage the use of syringes.

He said that the ministry of NHS is performing the lead role in mobilising financial and technical resources and advocating for the cause of prevention and control of this fatal disease.

The theme of this year’s AIDS day is “Communities make the difference,” which essentially means that it is through communities that the menace of HIV/AIDS can be eradicated.  He said that blood borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C require effective management of blood transfusion and injection safety procedures. Moreover, we need to have regular financing to sustain the existing interventions.

He added that the HIV/AIDS surveillance system will be strengthened and shall link prevention and treatment services.

Domestic resources will be mobilised for prevention programme by initiating a financing dialogue with relevant line ministries especially in high prevalence provinces. Similarly, to address stigma and discrimination, efforts will be ensued for effective implementation of legislation. Dr. Zafar Mirza said that government of Pakistan is committed to respond to the needs and demands of key population through their participation in preventive approach and adopting high impact methods such as prevention at grass root levels to end AIDS by 2030.