At UN, Pakistan reaffirms commitment to control HIV/AIDS epidemic

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UNITED NATIONS, June 11 (APP): Pakistan has told the UN General
Assembly that it remains committed to controlling HIV/AIDS epidemic, providing strong national and provincial support for prevention,
treatment and care and reducing stigma and discrimination.

Speaking in the 193 member Assembly high level plenary meeting
on ending AIDS, Darshan Punchi, Parliamentary Secretary for National
Health Services, said Pakistan’s national response to HIV prevention
and treatment was backed by the government’s firm political commitment, guided by its strategy to control the epidemic by 2020.

The plan, he said, emphasizes targeted, evidence based and high
impact quality assured interventions in high risk groups and was based on a coordinated and multi sectoral approach to target all its drivers and consequences.

Pakistan, he said, had a low HIV prevalence, below 1 per cent.
Yet, prevalence among injection drug users was 27.2 per cent.
Ending HIV/AIDS and alleviating poverty must be supported by international cooperation, Punchi said.

Scientific breakthroughs and lessons learned from scaling up
the AIDS response provided the tools to end AIDS by 2030.
In this regard, the Pakistan delegate, welcomed the valuable
support of international partners, UNAIDS and other UN agencies as well as relevant NGOs and civil society organizations.

“The Government of Pakistan is aware that in next five years, we have a narrow window of opportunity to radically change the trajectory of the HIV epidemic; and we will utilize this opportunity to fill the gap between estimated and registered number of patients by achieving three 90s target set out in the 2016 Declaration.”