HIV/AIDS Control Program
During the last three decades, the HIV pandemic has entered our consciousness as an incomprehensible calamity. HIV and AIDS has already taken a terrible human toll, laying claim to millions of lives, inflicting pain and grief, causing fear and uncertainty and threatening economic devastation.
Pakistan is the second largest country in South Asia that stands only a few steps behind India and Nepal in terms of HIV epidemic. Despite many efforts, the HIV infection rate has increased significantly over the past few years and in fact, the country has moved from a low prevalence to concentrated epidemic with HIV prevalence of more than 5% among injecting drug users (IDUs) in at least eight major cities. Other high?risk groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM), hijra sex workers (HSWs) and female sex workers (FSWs), also look set to reach this threshold level. Many bridging populations, totaling almost five million persons, are in direct sexual contact with these groups and are exposed to HIV infection through unprotected sexual activity. The heterogeneity and interlinking of high risk injecting and sexual behavior, combined with low levels of HIV knowledge and prevention, and high levels of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), indicates that HIV could spread rapidly to marriage partners or sex clients and result in generalized epidemic.
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