SACP plans awareness walk on HIV/AIDS


KARACHI: Sindh AIDS Control Programme (SACP) has arranged an HIV/AIDS awareness walk on December 4 to observe the World AIDS Day at Seaview Beach at Clifton, Karachi.

The day observed every year on December 1 is aimed at highlighting the negative fallout of the deadly disease and create awareness among masses to observe safety measures from falling prey to it.

The walk will be led by SACP Programme Manager Dr Younis Chachar, officials of health department, representatives of civil society. NGOs, students, business community and patients of the HIV/AIDS are participating in awareness walk.

Sindh AIDS Control Programme Coordinator Dr Sikandar Iqbal, while talking to PPI, said that the walk aims to create awareness in general public. He informed that a candlelight gathering with people living with HIV/AIDS would also be held to mark the World AIDS Day.

He claimed that Sindh health department was making all efforts for improving life standard of affectees by providing free healthcare facilities to them. He stressed the need for collaborative and integrated efforts among all concerned departments and NGOs to realise the goal of elimination of the disease.

An estimated 130,000 HIV/AIDS infected people are living in Pakistan out of which 56,000 are in Sindh.  The SACP had registered 12,979 cases across the province since 1995 out of which 12,740 were HIV positive and 239 were AIDS patients.

The major high-risk groups of the disease prevalence included long-distance truck drivers, female sex workers, transgender sex workers, male homosexuals, drug users (IDUs), jail inmates, children born to infected parents, street children and victims of unsafe medical procedures.

Seven new HIV treatment centres are also being established throughout Sindh to facilitate people at local level. The centres are being established in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Nawabshah.