Illicit sexual relations not only reason for spread of HIV: P&SHD

'There are many other reasons for the spread of HIV in Pakistan'

LAHORE: Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) Secretary Capt (r) Usman has said there is a need to eradicate the perception that the human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) are transmitted only through illicit sexual relations.

“Because of this impression, many infected people hide themselves and do not let it be known that they are infected. There are many other reasons for the spread of HIV in Pakistan, for which there is still a lot of work to be done,” he said.

Addressing at an interactive training session on the role of media in countering HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), held jointly by the Punjab AIDS Control Programme and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), the secretary said, “If the virus is found in minors in Sindh, it does not mean that it is due to sexual misconduct. Instead, we need to find out what factors are contributing to the spread of the virus. Repeated use of syringes and drug addiction are among other factors that are causing the spread of the virus.”

UNAIDS Community Support Advisor Fahmida Iqbal emphasised on the importance of positive reporting and words that need to be avoided while reporting about HIV and AIDS.

However, in the training session, the journalists also gave their suggestions regarding coverage of HIV and AIDS, and it was jointly decided that the media would play its role responsibly in the prevention of HIV and AIDS.

Shahab Omer
Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]
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