Pakistan Faces HIV/AIDS Spreading From High-Risk Groups To General Population

“For a long time, perceptions of Pakistan as a conservative Muslim country encouraged a belief that HIV/AIDS incidence would be non-existent or very low,” but “with the number of HIV cases rising, the government finally included it in its 2009 national health policy,” BBC News reports. However, the full extent of the disease “is still not widely acknowledged,” and “experts say the epidemic is not being properly tackled,” the article states. 

A recent U.N. report warned that the country’s “growing commercial sex industry’s overlap with high-risk groups is likely to cause the epidemic to spread to the general population,” the news service writes. But HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns “are almost non-existent in Pakistan” and non-governmental organizations working on the disease “have been hampered by the deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country and by this cultural mindset,” according to the article. In addition, the U.N. “says that the country’s anti-AIDS program is short of cash and bedevilled by bureaucracy – especially when it comes to the release of funds that have been committed,” BBC notes (8/9).