HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cases increasing in Pakistan at an alarming rate!
As reported, as many as 9,773 people have tested positive for HIV in Pakistan during the last 10 months of 2022.
The most affected province with respect to HIV in Pakistan is Punjab.
In Punjab, 400 people were tested positive in January, 475 in February, 572 in March, 547 in April, 610 in May, 723 in June, 669 in July, 701 in August, 712 in September and 697 in the month of October 2022, the official data shows.
While Sindh is on second position where HIV cases are on surge.
In Sindh, 2,097 new cases have emerged during the 10 months of current year.
According to the official data, in Sindh, 164 cases were reported in January, 148 in February, 182 in March, 201 in April, 183 in May, 211 in June, 181 in July, 169 in August, 236 in September and 140 new cases were reported in October 2022.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 815 new HIV cases were reported in the first 10 months of the current year with 71 new cases reported only in January, 96 in February, 71 in March, 61 in April, 68 in May, 85 in June, 84 in July, 87 in August, 101 in September and 91 in October 2022.
As per the official statistics, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) reported 496 new HIV cases in first 10 months of the current year with 36 cases in January, 57 in February, 38 in March, 33 in April, 43 in May, 72 in June, 51 in July, 59 in August, 60 in September and 47 in October 2022.
Meanwhile, Balochistan had the lowest number of new HIV cases in the first 10 months of the current year 2022. 259 HIV cases were reported with 32 cases in January in Baluchistan, 18 in February, 27 in March, 31 in April, 21 in May, 40 in June, 19 in July, 27 in August, 29 in September and 15 in the month of October 20022, the official data indicates.
Pakistan has spent hundreds of millions of dollars from the Global Fund and other international donor agencies during the last 11 years to contain and prevent the spread of HIV however, the recent figures raise grave concerns.
Commenting on the situation related to spread of HIV in Pakistan, an official of the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C) told The News that “Every month, more or less 1,000 new HIV cases are being reported from all four provinces, capital Islamabad, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. This clearly indicates that HIV is now spreading to general population from the key populations including people who inject drugs, male, female and transgender sex workers.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Globally, 38.4 million [33.9–43.8 million] people have been living with HIV at the end of 2021.
An estimated 0.7% [0.6-0.8%] of adults aged 15–49 years worldwide are living with HIV, although the burden of the epidemic continues to vary considerably between countries and regions.