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Thursday May 09 2019

HIV scare in Larkana as 181 children test positive for virus

LARKANA: At least 215 HIV positive cases have been reported in the Ratodero district of Larkana. 181 of these cases are of children between 2 months to 12-years-old.

In-charge of the Aids Control Programme in Sindh Dr Sikander Memon told Geo News that over 5,000 people were screened for the virus.

The reason for the spread of the virus is being attributed to using a syringe more than once.

In the Dakhan area of Shikarpur, 300 people were screened for HIV out of which 6 tested positive. The total HIV impacted people in the area has risen to 13.

Last month, police arrested a doctor suspected to be responsible for the spread of HIV in Larkana’s Ratodero district. Police said Dr Muzaffar Ghanghar, an employee at a public hospital, is an HIV patient himself.

Dr Ghanghar has termed the allegation against him a conspiracy, adding he was not aware of his condition.

Larkana continues to top the list of districts most affected by HIV in Sindh, with the total number of AIDS patients in Larkana at more than 2,400.

In total, 76.1 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV, since the epidemic started in the 1980s. Some 35 million have died.

As yet, there is no HIV vaccine or cure, and infected people rely on lifelong anti-retroviral therapy to stop the virus replicating.

Without treatment, HIV-infected people go on to develop AIDS, a syndrome that weakens the immune system and leaves the body exposed to opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis, and some types of cancer.

Treatment carries side-effects and is costly, but allows infected people to be healthier for longer.