94,000 people suffer from HIV in Pakistan: NACP

ISLAMABAD: As many as 94,000 people in Pakistan are suffering from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

An official of National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) Sunday said that 14,075 of these persons are registered with antiretroviral clinics and 7,560 of them are getting treatment for HIV.

These patients are getting treatment at 21 antiretroviral clinics while the NACP has also set up 11 sites for prevention of parent to child transmission (PPTCT) and 20 community home-based care centres.

National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) was established in 1986-87 with a focus on case detection among hospital clients, with the key objectives of prevention of HIV transmission, safe blood monitoring and research and behavioural studies and programme management.

The official said that last year, the NACP got a financial support of $ 9.8 million from global fund along with Rs 30 million from the government. The global fund has made a further commitment of $18 million this year. The federal government allocated Rs 8.861 million for fiscal year 2015-16 for AIDS control while Rs 28.262 million is likely to be allocated for fiscal year 2016-17.

Under the programme, the patients will get free of cost screening and treatment for HIV this year, he said, adding the NACP is primarily mandated to coordinate and harmonise the national response to HIV-AIDS in Pakistan. The NACP is working closely with the provincial aids control programmes providing care, support and treatment services, he added.

He said the NACP is conducting the 5th round of surveillance in the country in collaboration with provincial programmes with a total outlay of $1.1 million this year. It has also formulated a national HIV/AIDS policy and HIV bill for passage through the parliament.

It will also revise and disseminate guidelines and SOPs regarding treatment, HIV counselling and testing, opiate substitution therapy (OST) and home-based care. The official said NACP will be actively engaged in advocacy with parliamentarians, religious and opinion leaders, youth, policy makers, media personnel and key populations to create awareness and find solutions.

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