Islamabad Records Alarming Number of HIV Cases

Officials have reported that two treatment and diagnostic centers in Islamabad are seeing an average of 50 new HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cases each month. In the past seven months, 331 new patients have been diagnosed, many of whom are from Rawalpindi and other cities in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Azad Kashmir.

The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have the highest number of HIV patients, with additional cases reported in cities such as Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Gujrat, Lahore, Gujranwala, Narowal, Chakwal, Mandi Bahauddin, Minwali, Sargodha Kotli, Bagh, and Ponch.

Many patients avoid seeking treatment in their hometowns due to the stigma associated with the disease and fear of discrimination. As a result, they travel to major cities like Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi for diagnosis and treatment.

Reports reveal that approximately 46 new patients tested positive for HIV in October 2022, 48 in November, 40 in December, 40 in January 2023, 72 in February, 44 in March, and 35 in April 2023.

The National Aids Control Program has established a second center at the Federal Government Poly Clinic due to the high number of patients seeking HIV treatment at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). However, since this center is relatively new, only a few HIV patients have visited it so far.

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