ISLAMABAD  - As many as 35million people are currently living with HIV globally and nearly 25million have died of AIDS all over the world while Pakistan is a low prevalence but high risk country for the spread of HIV/AIDS infection.

Marc Saba, Country Director of UNAIDS, shared this information with Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari during a meeting with him on Thursday.

The UNAIDS' country director informed the chairman about the overall national and international scenario of HIV and AIDS prevalence. He said that the global scenario was very worrisome as 35million people were currently living with HIV and nearly 25million globally died of AIDS.

He said that the UNAIDS intended to establish an institutionalized parliamentarians alliance in this regard. He said that the initiative would help in effective planning and awareness. The alliance will consist of 50 parliamentarians from both the houses of Parliament, he informed. 

During the meeting, Bokhari underscored the need for collective efforts at local, national and international level to increase awareness about HIV and AIDS and sensitize masses about its social, legal and economic impacts.

The Senate chairman proposed that separate treatment centers need to be established in all the big cities of Pakistan and UNAIDS may extend assistance in this regard. He said that the awareness campaigns could only be successful if the medical experts are also involved in it. He appreciated the initiative, however, he opined that he would nominate the senators after proper consultation.

Later, the British High Commissioner Philip Barton also called on the Chairman Senate and exchanged views on matters of mutual significance and bilateral cooperation.  The Chairman Senate while welcoming the British Envoy observed that Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with United Kingdom and relations between the two were on positive trajectory. 

He underscored the need for exploring more avenues of cooperation to further consolidate the ties for mutual benefit. The British HC said that democracy was thriving in Pakistan and appreciated the previous government for smooth transition of power and termed it a mature approach.