QUETTA: Participants of a seminar on AIDS have stressed the importance of adopting preventive measures against the life-threatening disease. The number of registered HIV patients in Pakistan has risen to 115,000, of which 5,000 are in Balochistan, including 824 in Quetta.
Speaking on the occasion, Balochistan AIDS Control Programme Manager Dr Afzal Zarqoon said that many patients weighed down by shyness and honour did not get the tests done, which ultimately resulted in their deaths.
He maintained that under the programme, efforts were under way to raise awareness about taking precautionary measures against the killer disease.
Lecturers from various colleges also spoke on the occasion and observed that by avoiding transfusion of untested blood, dental treatment from an unqualified doctor and application of used syringe, one could be saved from the deadly infection.
The speakers said that as soon as a person is infected by HIV, the immune system is disabled and the body gets vulnerable to different diseases.
It was discussed that many people in Balochistan shied away from telling others about their disease and at last they lost their lives. In the past few years, 6,200 people in Pakistan died due to AIDS.
Dr Zarqoon said that under the Balochistan Aids Control Programme, free medicines are distributed to the HIV infected patients and on an average, per patient medicines cost Rs20,000-25,000.