Over 500 people test positive for HIV in Islamabad in last 10 months
Over 500 people test positive for HIV in Islamabad in the last 10 months. Officials said that during the last 10 months – from January 1 to October 31 – 519 people have tested positive for HIV in Islamabad.
An official of the National Health Service, Regulation and Coordination (NHSR&C) told the media that the majority of young men between the ages of 18 and 25 were classified as men who have sex with men (MSM). Is. transgender.
The federal health ministry official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, claimed that of the 519 new HIV patients, about 40%-45% were “young people aged 18-25”. men are. , who also engaged in “unprotected sexual behavior”.
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According to the data, 38 new people tested positive for HIV in PIMS Islamabad in January, 61 in February, 40 in March, 34 in April and 45 in May, while June recorded the highest number of new HIV infections (74) . this year.
In July, 53 new HIV patients were registered at the PIMS treatment center, 61 in August, 64 in September and 49 new people tested positive for HIV in October.
The NHS official said, “Keeping in view the increasing burden of HIV cases in the capital, we have set up another treatment center for HIV patients at Polyclinic Hospital, Islamabad, which has been functioning for the past few weeks but is yet to be formally opened.” It is yet to be inaugurated. ,
The in-charge of the HIV treatment center at PIMS Islamabad, Dr. Nailana Basheer, which has been declared a “special clinic”, said more than 4,500 people living with HIV are registered with them and their number is increasing with each passing day.
“Every day two to three new people are being tested positive for HIV in our diagnostic lab at PIMS Islamabad. Ironically, over the years the majority of people who have been testing positive have been young, educated men who practice same sex practices. Most of them know their practice so they research about the risks associated with their sexual behavior and get themselves tested for HIV,” said Dr. Naila.
He added that Islamabad had seen an increase in the number of young, educated men from well-to-do families during the peak days of COVID-19 and for the past few years, most of the people tested for HIV at the PIMS Islamabad laboratory are youth. Boys, both from the affluent classes as well as young laborers who are living at their workplaces in the suburbs of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Asked why HIV is spreading so rapidly among youths or boys in and around the capital, he said public health experts and officials should answer that question.
“When this center was set up in 2005, mostly deportees from Gulf countries used to come here. Later, the number of injectable drug users increased, but now the number of young men and transgenders infected with HIV is increasing with each passing day.
She said that young men and boys who test positive for HIV need psychological help because as soon as they come to know about their HIV status, many of them have thoughts of suicide and some of them Even try to commit suicide.
“But I give them a clear message. HIV is now a curable disease. An HIV patient can lead a normal life if he takes medicines on a daily basis, gets himself or herself tested and gets medical treatment, which is available in government hospitals. It is free”, said Dr. Basheer.
Muhammad Usman, program director of the Daricha Male Health Society, also confirmed that young men and transgenders are increasingly testing positive for HIV in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and said that his organization, which is a community-based organization, is helping people Working for welfare and well being. Men and transgenders who have tested positive for HIV.
“Drug use is very high among male sex workers, the transgender community and men who have sex with men. Under the influence of drugs, they skip all kinds of precautions and often they get infected with HIV”, Usman said.