HIV Prevention Efforts Must be Accelerated in Pakistan
Contracting the human immunodeficiency virus is not the most ideal thing that can happen to a person. It is a deadly microorganism that does not do much to the human body, but, wreaks havoc on the entire internal human system. The HIV infiltrates and attacks the White Blood Cells, the cells that roam around the body, detect faults/ cancerous cells/ infections, and fight them off to ensure a healthy body. If the said cells become dysfunctional for any reason, humans lose their ability to fight off the simplest and the most common diseases and may die of ailments that seem trivial, e.g. a cold. There was once a time when the world lost many people due to this horrible virus because no cure was available. The disease could mature and progress to its advanced stage- AIDs- where death was guaranteed. However, thanks to the development of medicine and the latest research and technology, it is possible today to limit the development of HIV into a life-threatening form. With the help of modern medicine and tertiary medical facilities, dealing with the HI virus is not an impossible task. In fact, as per a World Health Organization Report, if appropriate medical attention is provided, the infected may live, healthily, from 12 to 40 years. HIV Prevention Efforts Must be Accelerated in Pakistan.
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However, this brings us to the sad part of the story. The appropriate medical facilities required to treat a person with HIV are primarily present in economically-advanced, developed countries. Most of the other states are left to deal with the disease without any equipment to help them along their way. Pakistan is one of such countries. As per the data collected by UNAIDS, as of 2018, there were around 140000-190000 individuals in Pakistan, who carried the concerned virus in their systems. This indicates a 57 percent increase in incidents since 2010. What is more horrifying is the fact that out of all the people who have contracted the virus, only 23000 know about their condition, and even fewer are getting treated. This is the reason why there has been a 369 % increase in the number of deaths resulting from HIV complications. Those who are unaware of the deadly virus lurking in their bloodstreams may carelessly and unknowingly transfer the microorganism to healthy people and participate in bringing about an epidemic that many believe might soon hit the country’s populace with full force.
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There are many reasons why the number of HIV contractions have boosted, unprotected sex is perhaps one of the top leading few. Since sex is a tabooed issue in the country, with people refusing to address it, there is a general lack of education regarding the matter. Therefore, individuals do not know of safe methods of indulging in the activity and unknowingly expose themselves to the HI virus. It was estimated that a large population of women did not know how to protect themselves from contracting the said disease. The situation is even worse for sex workers and transgenders, many of whom carry the virus and spread it forward to several people.
Drug abuse is also a means of HIV transmission. There is a moderately high number of people who abuse themselves with recreational drugs. Most of the time, drug users use each other’s hypodermal needles to inject drugs. If one of the individuals involved in the process is infected, he/ she can infect all of those who use his/ her needles. Since there is no special attention given to this section of the society, by not only the government but also by the local population, it becomes an ideal place for the silent spread of the disease. HIV Prevention Efforts Must be Accelerated in Pakistan.
Perhaps the reason why it is so difficult to carry out prevention deeds for HIV spread and AIDS is that there is an unacceptability among the population. Pakistani society is a traditional one and people do not identify taboos such as sexual relations and drugs. Since there is a lack of awareness and inadmissibility regarding the said two things, it is difficult to educate the masses about the prevention techniques and safe methods. However, whatever the situation may be, the State will have to accelerate its HIV prevention efforts in Pakistan if an epidemic is to be avoided. Without dedicated struggles for the cause, the future of the country will be dark. Therefore, we, as responsible citizens of the country, should come forward and contribute in ways that suit us and facilitate the actions of the government.
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