DT News - Pakistan - With 1,453 new cases, Sindh steps up HIV prevention efforts

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With 1,453 new cases, Sindh steps up HIV prevention efforts

Staff Reporter

Fri. 28 June 2024

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KARACHI: The Government of Sindh is implementing extensive measures to reduce HIV incidence across the province, including key initiatives like widespread screening to identify and treat new cases promptly and creating awareness about the disease, besides making efforts to remove the stigma attached to it.

In this connection, new HIV treatment centers have been inaugurated in the province, and existing facilities have been upgraded and digitized for enhanced efficiency, with endorsements from the Global Fund.

As per the latest data, till June 2024, Sindh has reported 1,453 new HIV cases, including 169 children.

Given these figures, the Sindh Healthcare Commission is taking stringent actions against quacks, alongside initiatives to ensure safe needle disposal and promote awareness about preventive measures to check the spread of the virus.

Experts say that early detection through screening is crucial for timely treatment, enabling patients to lead healthy lives and prevent further transmission. Efforts are being made to track and treat patients regardless of location.

The Sindh government is also implementing educational programs in schools and communities to raise awareness about HIV transmission and prevention.

Access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is being facilitated, particularly for high-risk populations, while mobile health units are deployed in remote areas, offering testing, treatment, and educational resources.

The government seeks media support in raising awareness responsibly, emphasizing that there is no cause for panic as cases are not clustered and are actively monitored.

Collaborations with local and international organizations are being strengthened to benefit from their resources and expertise in combating HIV. Psychosocial support services are also provided to individuals and families affected by HIV.

The government is providing regular training to healthcare providers on the latest HIV treatment protocols and patient care techniques to enhance capacity.

Clarifying recent reports from Mirpur Khas, authorities have confirmed 24 positive cases, with all cases registered and monitored. Seventeen patients are receiving treatment at the ART center, while efforts continue to track one individual.

In efforts to contain the spread, 3,072 individuals have been screened in Mirpur Khas, resulting in 5 new positive cases, yielding a positivity rate of 0.16pc.

The government stresses that people can live healthy lives with HIV if diagnosed early and provided with treatment, urging the removal of stigma associated with the condition to encourage testing and treatment uptake.

Through these comprehensive measures, the Sindh government aims to create an effective strategy to combat HIV and enhance the health and well-being of people.

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