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HIV Cases Soar To 519 In Scandal-Hit Larkana

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Around 39 HIV positive cases were detected during a recent screening of people in scandal-hit Larkana, soaring the total number of affected individuals to over 500 in a span of 17 days.

The health authorities claim that the alarming number was only due to initial testing and the number of suspected HIV positive cases decreased significantly when a second screening was done.

23 children and five women are among the 39 new cases, which surfaced at Taluka Hospital of Ratodero, the area in Larkana most affected by HIV breakout.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho on Tuesday announced to establish more blood screening camps in various parts of Larkana, adding that more funds were needed to cater health needs of those affected or potentially at risk.

She expressed the hope that the provincial health budget for the eradication of HIV and AIDS may be increased in fiscal 2019-20.

On April 30, Police in Larkana arrested a doctor accused of spreading human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Rotadero district.

Dr Muzaffar Ghanghar, who works at a public hospital in Larkana is HIV patient himself. He is accused of having infected others in the district.

The authorities probed the matter after HIV-positive cases increased at an alarming rate in the district. 39 cases of HIV were detected in the district, of which 22 were children, including those as young as 16-months-old.

Ghanghar, however, maintains that he was not aware of his condition and was not involved in the spread of the disease. “If I was aware of my condition, I would have sought treatment. The Sindh Healthcare Commission is conspiring against me.”

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