Over 500 workers of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) workers, besides DG health services Dr Ilyas Gondal, Additional Secretary Vertical Programs Asim Raza, Director Hepatitis Control Dr Shahid Magsi and other program directors. UNDP, UNAids and UNICEF representatives also attended the seminar.
Health minister said that information relating to HIV patient is kept in secret in a bid to prevent his prestige. High-risk groups like female sex workers (FSW), men having sex with men (MSM), transgenders, injection drug users (IDU), and jail inmates are more prone to HIV. Dr Akhtar Malik said that this disease can also be transmitted to a child from an HIV-infected mother. The mere touch of hands and having a meal with the patient cannot contribute to the spread of this disease, he observed.
The health minister said that around 2.3 million people were HIV screened so far and amongst them, 37000 were tested HIV positive. The PACP has an advance bio-safety level 3 laboratory providing free PCR and CD4 test facilities. He claimed that the PACP has 45 clinics at district level for providing free HIV screening, test and medicines to the patients.
The minister lauded the efforts of UNDP, UNAids and UNICEF for raising awareness about this stigma and said that the government is indebted to them for rendering their valuable service to mankind in the health sector. The seminar was also addressed by DG health services and Additional Secretary Vertical Programs. During the seminar a stage play was organised to clear misunderstanding about Aids concepts of society which was widely applauded by the people on the occasion.