Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Pakistan Foreign Minister Says Country Has ‘Taken a Number of Steps’ To Control Spread of HIV
Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Tuesday told Special Envoy to the U.N. Secretary General for HIV/AIDS in Asia Nafis Sadik that Pakistan has "taken a number of steps" to control the spread of HIV, Xinhua News Agency reports. In the meeting, Kasuri briefed Sadik on the government's efforts, including the creation of the National AIDS Control Program, an "umbrella project" to confront the disease and a government order calling for safer blood transfusion practices, according to Xinhua (Xinhua News Agency, 1/7). The estimated HIV prevalence rate in Pakistan is 0.1% according to a 2002 UNAIDS statement, which is "low," according to Kristan Schoultz, UNAIDS country adviser for Pakistan. However, an increase in injection drug use, "indiscriminate" blood transfusions, unsterilized medical instruments, low condom use, increased poverty, the "low status of women," poor literacy, high levels of mobility and low HIV/AIDS awareness could lead to an epidemic, according to the UNAIDS statement (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/18/2002). Kasuri said that Pakistan "looks forward to continued cooperation with the concerned U.N. agencies," including the United Nations Population Fund, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (Xinhua News Agency, 1/7).
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