Health minister calls for collective efforts to defeat HIV-AIDS

Federal Minister National Health Services Aamir Mehmood Kiani has said that government is committed to make sincere efforts for increasing the access of HIV preventive and treatment services.

He was addressing a seminar in connection with World AIDS Day on Thursday. He said that the government would engage all stakeholders to promote HIV awareness and minimize stigma and discrimination against HIV.

The government also aspires to support people living with HIV empowerment by creating an enabling environment and adopting an integrated multi-sectoral approach to address the socio-economic determinants responsible for the spread of HIV in the country. Minister said Pakistan has an estimated 150,000 people living with HIV. Of these only 25,000 are registered at the 33HIV treatment centres across the country.

“We all need to realize our responsibilities and the critical role we all have to play to make Pakistan HIV free. We still have a chance today as Pakistan is confronted with a concentrated HIV epidemic that can be addressed by a focussed and targeted approach. We need to unite to avert a full-blown HIV epidemic by taking immediate preventive measures, encourage HIV testing and treatment, and addressing HIV associated stigma and discrimination to reduce the number of new HIV infections”, he added .

The series of awareness sessions held at community level through public outreach campaigns, educational institutes, policy making institutions and healthcare settings/hospitals to share important information and statistics related to the HIV epidemic in the country, free of cost HIV testing and treatment services being provided by the Government of Pakistan, to reduce stigma and discrimination and address misconceptions associated with HIV awareness is commendable. We hope that everyday becomes an AIDS Day till we can liberate the country of this menace.

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