Almost 519 people test positive for HIV in Islamabad
Almost 519 people have tested positive for HIV in Islamabad during the last 10 months of the ongoing year and their alarming majority comprises young men in the age group of 18 to 25 years being categorized as men having sex with men (MSM) in addition to transgenders, officials said.
According to officials, HIV has been spreading rapidly among “young men in the age group of 18-25 years”, who were also involved in “unsafe sexual practices”, due to the increasing number of HIV patients, polyclinics are building a new HIV treatment center in Islamabad.
Dr Nailana Bashir, Incharge of the HIV treatment centre at PIMS Islamabad, said that over 4,500 people living with HIV are registered with them and their number is growing with each passing day.
“Every day two to three new people are being tested positive for HIV at our diagnostic lab at PIMS Islamabad. Ironically, most of them who are being tested positive for the last couple of years are young, educated men who practice same sex. Most of them know their practice so they search about risks involved with their sexual behaviour and get themselves tested for HIV,” Dr Naila added.
According to the National AIDS Control Program, 496 new cases of HIV have been registered in Islamabad this year.
According to the data, 38 people tested positive for HIV at PIMS Islamabad in January, 61 in February, 40 in March, 34 in April, and 45 in May, while the highest number of new HIV infections 74 were reported in June this year.
In July, 53 new HIV patients were registered with the PIMS treatment centre, 61 tested positive in August, 64 in September, and 49 new people have been tested positive for HIV in October.