Pakistan witnesses surge in AIDS

Islamabad, Jan 23 (IANS) There has been an alarming rise in the number of AIDS cases among the injecting drug users (IDUs) in Pakistan, a Canadian aid agency has said.

The average AIDS prevalence rate among the country’s IDUs is 36.7 percent, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) said. There are an estimated 125,000 IDUs in the country, half of whom are believed to be married.
In some cities of eastern Punjab province, the number of HIV/AIDS infected IDUs was at the level of 52.5 percent followed by Sindh province at 42.5 percent, the CIDA said quoting a survey.
The survey showed that there has been a steady increase in HIV/AIDS among IDUs after the cancellation of a World Bank-funded project in eight cities of Punjab in 2010, Dawn reported Monday.
Under the project, the IDUs were provided with new syringes in exchange of the old ones to minimize the risk of transmission of the disease.

According to official statistics by Pakistan National AIDS Control Program, over 80,000 people are suffering from HIV/AIDS across Pakistan.