HIV cases increasing in Pak at fastest rate: UN


Islamabad, Sep 10 (IANS): The UN in its latest report has revealed that new cases of HIV in Pakistan were increasing at their fastest rate, with a dramatic surge among transgenders and sex workers.

Figures released by the UN suggested that Pakistan recorded a 13 per cent increase with a total number of 160,000 cases this year, a significant increase from 67,000 in 2010, The Express Tribune reported on Tuesday.

The UN report said that there has been a sharp increase in the number of young people contracting the virus. Among those aged 14, there was a jump of 1,500 between 2018 and 2015.

Similarly, female HIV patients above the age of 15 rose to 37,000 in 2015 and 48,000 in 2018.

HIV rates among injection drug users increased by 21 per cent during 2019, followed by 3.7 per cent among homosexuals and 3.8 per cent in sex workers.

According to the statistics issued by Pakistan's National Aids Control Program, more than 5,000 people tested HIV positive as a result of sharing infected needles across the country, reports The Express Tribune.

The country was stunned by the outbreak of HIV in Larkana earlier this year. Over 800 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 tested positive.

While HIV cases were on the rise in Pakistan, the world witnessed a 33 per cent decline in the number of deaths from the infection, the UN report said.

According to the report, globally, 37.9 million people are infected with HIV out of which 13.3 million have access to anti-retroviral therapy, which is used to treat the infectious disease.

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