LAHORE - Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Khawaja Imran Nazir on Thursday held a meeting with the deputy commissioner and CEO for health in Chiniot to review the situation after several people were found infected with HIV/AIDS in a village there.

As many as 39 suspected cases of HIV-AIDS were found in Bhattiwala village in the Chiniot district during blood screening done by the Punjab AIDS Control Programme.

Blood samples of suspected patients have been sent to the PACP Lab in Lahore for confirmation of report. However, doctors have started symptomatic treatment of the patients. If the laboratory results prove positive, complete treatment facilities would be provided to patients free of cost.

CEO of Health Dr Akhtar Hussain said that after reporting of 39 suspected HIV/AIDS patients during blood screening, the health authorities of Chiniot had conducted a number of health sessions with local people to create awareness about the fatal disease. He said that barbers had also been educated about the issue. Moreover, about 100 clinics of quacks have been sealed in the districted.

Imran said that information about HIV/AIDS patients would be kept confidential to save them from social isolation.

He said the government was implementing integrated preventive programmes against the diseases wherein the community should also participate.