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Punjab government running HIV/AIDS Control Programme successfully: official

"Punjab government is successfully running HIV/AIDS Control Programme with its own resources and government would provide maximum resources for its expansion and devising new strategy for better results," claimed the Punjab Health Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik while addressing a consultative seminar by the Punjab AIDS Control Programme, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organisation, here on Thursday.

Regional HIV Advisor UNODC Anne Bargestrom, UNICEF AIDS Specialist Dr Nasir Sarfraz, Dr Naila Shahid, Dr Zaman Khan, Dr Tayyeba Rashid, Strategic Advisor UNAIDS Dr Rajwal Khan and a large number of medical experts, representatives of international partners and non-government organisations also attended the seminar. UNAIDS Country Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Dr Mamadou Sakhu said on the occasion that Punjab AIDS Control Programme is moving in the right direction. There is a need for awareness in seminars and enhance HIV lab test facilities for the those affected so that people can have an easy access to information about the HIV AIDS control and follow precautionary measures.

Secretary Malik said, "Consultative seminars will be fruitful in evolving a new strategy for HIV/AIDS control and treatment of infected persons. Punjab government is implementing a comprehensive disease prevention programme." In a speech, Punjab AIDS Control Programme Manager, Dr Salman Shahid said, "Punjab is the only province where an effective HIV/AIDS Control Programme is being implemented with the provincial resources and technical co-operation of the WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDS. The PC-I of the programme is approved and entire funding is being made by the Punjab government while international partners are providing technical assistance for running this programme. Under the new strategy HIV test of spouses of injectable drug addicts will also be carried out to check the spread of virus. The programme is providing free medical treatment to all registered HIV AIDS positive patients. It is providing preventive services to 17,500 syringe-user addicts, 16,500 hookers and 10,000 transsexuals."

He also said recently the programme conducted AIDS tests of 8,035 thalassemia children and 50,000 prisoners are also provided with a test facility and HIV positive-prisoners and children are being provided free treatment facilities. He said a new strategy is being evolved to expand diagnostic and treatment facilities.

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