UNAIDS Appreciates Government's Response To Address HIV

UNAIDS appreciates government's response to address HIV

UNAIDS on Tuesday appreciated the government's unwavering commitment to address key implementation challenges in scaling up the HIV response in the country.

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Oct, 2018 ) :UNAIDS on Tuesday appreciated the government's unwavering commitment to address key implementation challenges in scaling up the HIV response in the country.

During meeting with Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Aamer Mehmood Kiani, UNAIDS Country Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan Dr Maria Elena F. Borromeo welcomed the government's response to control HIV.

She said that UNAIDS is committed to support the ministry in this endeavor as this is fundamental in formulating sound policies, designing an evidence informed intervention and in prioritizing resource allocation and investments.

The minister highlighted the new government's commitment to change the course of the HIV epidemic in the country by ensuring that, inter alia, critical barriers and challenges in implementing high-impact prevention programme for key population and increasing treatment coverage for those in need, will be addressed.

This is fully aligned with the new government's 100-day agenda particularly in improving the country's health system and setting up a national health insurance programme that will enable every Pakistani below poverty line to effectively access the needed package of essential services.

A national health policy is yet to be developed and the ministry invited UNAIDS to be part of the team for suggesting the much needed endeavours. One of the programme areas that needs further strengthening and harmonization, is the national monitoring and evaluation system.

UNAIDS country Director shared that according to the newly released 2018 Global AIDS Report, Pakistan is one of the first countries to codify the protection of the rights of transgender persons through the Transgender Persons Act of May 2018.

Transgender persons in Pakistan, as in other countries, experience routine discrimination and have difficulty accessing HIV services. The report likewise mentioned some very worrying concerns, including the continued increase in new infection in the last seven years (45% increase from 2010-2017) and the very low treatment coverage (7%) among Pakistanis in need of anti-retroviral therapy.

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