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American-Pakistani Physicians To Visit HIV-Struck Larkana

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HIV Awareness Project Team with Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), Jinnah Sindh Medical University Alumni Association North America (JSMUAANA) and Dow Graduates of North America (DOGANA) will visit Larkana on December 26.

Pakistan has had a rise in HIV positive patients and the disease has taken on the shape of an epidemic in Larkana, with more than 750 people diagnosed to be HIV positive. A majority of the affectees were children. The outbreak has changed the perception of HIV and AIDS in Pakistan, where the disease was once thought to be limited to peripheral populations. But the disease is now common.

Investigations have revealed that contaminated blood sources, and reuse of syringes/needles are major culprits. Since then, 1175 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Larkana and 80% of them are children under the age of 12.

The team has decided to visit the Larkana district and have a meeting with primary care doctors and patients in an Open House Town Hall meeting on December 26th, 2019. The main goal is to understand the outbreak and to spread awareness about it. The team plan to regroup after the visit and will hold a joint meeting with all the concerned parties.

The team will comprise Dr. Fizza Gillani, Dr. Asimah Qayoom, Dr. Rizwan Naeem, Dr. S Iftekhar Hussain, Dr. Irfan Suleman the President of JSUAANA, Dr. Mamoona Shaikh the President DOGANA and the team lead, Dr. Aziz Soomro who was instrumental in getting the team ready.

APPNA is committed to this project and this team will continue to work through 2020 and beyond. Pakistan Medical Association is also committed to working with the team.

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Naya Daur