Sindh Witnesses an Alarming Rise in Child-HIV Cases

As per Sindh government officials, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is quickly spreading in four districts of the province. Every week, dozens of adults and children are testing positive.

Since 2019, the four Tehsils of Larkana, Jacobabad, Qambar Shahdadkot, and Shikarpur districts have witnessed an HIV epidemic. The reason for the virus’s spread is poor Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), namely the existence of quacks that do not follow IPC standards.

As per federal officials, over 60 percent of HIV cases in these regions have been recorded from the general population over the last four years, with the remaining 40 percent coming from key demographics such as injectable drug users, transgender males, men having sex with men, and female sex workers.

When hundreds of children were contracting HIV in Ratodero Tehsil in Larkana in 2019, Pakistan announced the world’s greatest HIV outbreak among children. Since then, around 2,800 youngsters in Ratodero and adjacent regions have been diagnosed with HIV.

The officials have urged for the formation of an IPC unit to combat the transmission of HIV as well as other blood-borne infections.

They also highlighted eliminating quackery and ensuring that IPC regulations are implemented in healthcare settings throughout Sindh. 

HIV destroys the immune system, and there is no effective treatment for the virus at the moment. Those infected are infected for life.

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