Over 100,000 In Pakistan
Now HIV-Infected


ISLAMABAD (PNS) - United Nations Thursday disclosed that about 100,000 people are infected with the deadly HIV/AIDS virus in Pakistan.

"Some 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS including an estimated 100,000 people in Pakistan infected with the AIDS virus," Said WHO spokesperson Loretta H Girardet at a news briefing.

She informed that 14,000 people around the world are infected with the deadly disease everyday.

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation is set to begin a survey of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in Afghanistan.

"Some 10 cases of the deadly disease inside Afghanistan have been reported to the health agency so far," she said.

However, she said, "this is a limited number but there is a need to start developing activities quickly to contain the spreading of disease in the war torn country."

By the end of the year 2003, a national plan of action on infection control of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections would be completed in Afghanistan, she observed.

The plan will focus on how to aware people about the disease and the ways to protect from it, she maintained.

The disease, she said, "is transmitted through unprotected sexual relations, intravenous drug use, contaminated blood and reuse of medical equipment without sterilization."

World Health Organisation has delivered 18 HIV/AIDS testing kits to Afghanistan, she said and added that the agency has trained laboratory technicians to use reagents to trace HIV in blood.

She said that AIDS is still a minor health problem in Afghanistan but hepatitis and other blood borne infections are major health concerns there.

Laboratories are extremely necessary to test blood for hepatitis and HIV before mothers receive the necessary transfusion, she said.

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