The number of adults newly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has sharply increased in the past decade, according to a new United Nations report.
The report published by the UN Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC) last week shows that progress in HIV prevention worldwide is too slow to reach the target of reducing the global number of HIV infections among adults to fewer than 500,000 a year.
By the end of 2019, at least 1.7 million people worldwide became infected, it showed.
While in most countries, despite missed targets, some decrease in new infections was observed, in Pakistan it was on the rise.
Citing “low coverage of prevention and treatment services for key populations” in Pakistan, the report said the number of adults newly infected with HIV in the country increased by 74 percent between 2010 and 2019. The number of newly infected adults was 23,000 in 2019, about 1,000 more than in 2018.
It is estimated that between 160,000 and 210,000 people in Pakistan are living with HIV.
Although the overall prevalence in the country is still less than 1 percent in the adult population, the World Health Organisation (WHO) lists the country among those where new HIV infections are increasing at an alarming level.