The estimates by United Nations are alarming that the actual number of HIV/Aids unreported cases in Pakistan could be around 70,000-80,000 (ranges are from 24,000 to 150,000).
Of the reported cases, causes, the most dominant during the quarter ending June 2004 was injecting drug use (73.72 per cent). Close second was heterosexual relations (22.18 per cent), men who have sex with men (4.0 per cent) and mother-to-child transmission (0.1 per cent).
Recently compiled data places Pakistan in the stage I of an epidemic that is driven by a concentrated sub-epidemic among Injection Drug Users (IDUs).
Additionally, behavioural surveillance data show abundant high-risk behaviours in key population subgroups, overlap between drug users and commercial sex workers and moderate prevalence of sexual infections among the general population.
AIDS is also spreading because of poverty, low literacy level especially among women, huge refugee population, big high risk population such as long distance truck drivers, commercial sex workers, limited safety of blood transfusion.
According to WHO/UNAids definition, Pakistan was classified as a low prevalence but high-risk country for the spread of HIV infection. This classification no longer holds good because of the notification of concentrated epidemic among IDUs in 2004.
Recently conducted National RTI/STIs prevalence survey indicates that 38.2 per cent of Motivated Sex Workers in Karachi are positive for syphilis, while the prevalence in eunuchs in the same city is around 60 per cent.
This calls for immediate action.