AIDS in Karachi

The numbers can and will be disputed, but would anyone be surprised if the general tenor of this story was true:

“According to one such expert, the percentage of AIDS patients in Karachi has increased from 0.4 percent to 26 percent between 2004 and 2005.”

“In this backdrop, there is considerably weight in the complaint that the effective control was not possible as six ministers and managers have been changed during the short span of two years.”

20 Comments so far

  1. Sufi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 8:39 am

    :|


  2. ash (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 8:47 am

    no one knows the exact rate … noone …we know that south asia will soon be the epicenter mainly due to india but thats all we know. All those stats are from random screening of blood donors who often happen to be druggies, who sell blood for money.
    This whole aids thing is a huge huge problem, prevention in the west has only worked because of large scale condom promotion try doing that in the islamic republic.


  3. MU (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    26 percent of the city population? Unlikely in this short period.


  4. MB (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 9:53 am

    As i keep on saying……. health sector & education sector has Died almost now……..
    D E A D……. got it ?
    Those ministers are worse than AIDS. Kick on their a** and throw them away. We don’t need them. Forget AIDS, we don’t even have proper first aid services available in gov. hospitals.

    And hey…….i cannot believe its 26%
    Really…..
    thats like 1/4th the population….


  5. Murtaza (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 10:42 am

    the statement is vague, percentage of what? is it from everyone who goes for a blood test or only those who donate blood? saying 24% of the population can create a havoc. Journalists or whoever is responsible for dishing out such statistics should act more professionally than just dishing out numbers. In anycase it is alarming!


  6. Neoka (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:10 am

    I believe the statistic is refering to a growth of 26%. Which is higher than some african countries that have been tackling the problem for a long time. Condom usage is still a huge concern in catholic dominated societies in Africa as well. Although it is easy to say that it is un-Islamic to have sex outside of wed-lock, the problem still exists. If we evaluate the impact of embracing condom usage and educating on it versus not, then it could come down to whole generations being affected.

    In Kenya they have been running a youth campaign for children for sometime now. Its simple, and very effective in raising awareness across large numbers. Its simply the peace symbol made with the Index and middle fingers, which also forms a V – for virginity. You can see children, youth, TV personalities all using this symbol as casually as one would greet another.

    Am glad people are starting to see this as an issue, if it isn’t acted on soon though, it will continue to grow out of control, which it appears has already began.


  7. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:10 am

    A bit old news but gives more details:

    http://dawn.com/2006/11/20/local3.htm


  8. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 11:13 am


    that the effective control was not possible as six ministers and managers have been changed during the short span of two years.

    Due to AIDS? *grin*


  9. Lies (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

    AIDS is a serious serious problem, but I call bullshit on the 26%


  10. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

    CY, being a journalist, now it is YOU who is providing ‘wrong’ (misleading) information.


  11. Hasan Zuberi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    Cy a journalist ??

    It is itself a misleading info … pls correct your record Arsalan.


  12. fAr stAr (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

    26% rate of increase might be correct but 26% population being affected doesn’t seems to be correct.
    these r the figures on the UN website till year 2005
    Estimated Number of HIV cases (Adults and children): 85,000
    Adults (15-49 years): 84,000
    Women (15-49): 14,000
    Esimated number of deaths due to AIDS: 3,000

    Source: UNAIDS Global AIDS Report 2006


  13. Omar R. Quraishi (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

    cyril — the numbers r wrong — however, UN organisation like the WHO and independent experts say that the govt’s claimed figure for AIDS cases of around 1-2,000 is very low — they say that the figure is more like 60,000-80,000 cases at least — the figure varies considerably because it is an estimate

    cyril — the pakistan observer is hardly that good a newspaper — besides, the article itself doesnt say where it got the figure of 26 per cent — i have never heard of this figure though I have been following this issue for some time


  14. Cy (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

    Omar: The 26% figure is patently wrong – for all the reasons you mentioned. I put it up more as a reminder of yet another looming threat to this city.


  15. yo yo (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

    Now really we should be discussing why has this disease gained so much ground in Karachi.


  16. Bayl (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

    Umm people I think it probably means there was a GROWTH of 26% from 0.4% to 0.504% not an absolute increase TO 26%.

    Regardless of the numbers, however, you can not ignore the gravity of this issue. Ash, it’s not coming from India it is just as big in Pakistan. The only thing is it’s talked about enough and is usually blocked out. Once the taboo around it is softened and people become more straightforward in tackling it, we can perhaps prevent it from spreading further. It is time Pakistan opened up to birth control and safe blood transfusions.


  17. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 7:35 pm

    Hasan, since I do read Cyril’s articles in the News from time to time, so I ‘assumed’ that he is a journo working for the paper. But then again, as I had said that it was an assumption on my behalf.


  18. Cy (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 7:40 pm

    Arsalaan: I freelance for TFT and TNS (The News on Sunday). And I didn’t mean to suggest I was endorsing the numbers – I was just using that piece I came across to highlight a neglected issue.


  19. ash (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 2:41 am

    By all objective measures AIDS is still in phase one which means restricted to high risk groups i.e sex workers, IV drug addicts, gays, thalessemics and truck drivers (i am not making that up)etc. It is bound to explode into phase 2 soon enough which means general public but it hasnt yet.
    In India they try and monitor brothels condom usage, that would be the best thing to do here too. However getting the govt to admit a brothel is a brothel will take us way into the next millenium. And as for clean needle programs forget that too.
    The only good news is that antiretroviral drugs have made huge leaps forward and so rich men will continue to live after a lifetime of screwing prostitutes giving AIDS to their innocent wives. Poor people will continue to die ofcourse like flies.
    Neoka it is not exactly the same situation as africa, the hiv numbers are much lower but spreading awareness is 1000 times harder because high risk people are not only considered better off dead but the mullahs actually encourage people to seek them out and kill them – so much for peace signs.


  20. zs (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 4:55 am

    AIDS, in whatever numbers it exists in Karachi / Pakistan, is probably restricted to a few sub-groups like sex workers, heroine addicts etc. I don’t think there’s much danger of it spreading rampantly in our society through unprotected sex. Still, something that needs to be looked at more.



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