Message from Mr. Mamnoon Hussain President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
(On the occasion of World AIDS Day – 1st December, 2016)
World AIDS day is an occasion to reiterate our commitment to addressing the menace of HIV/AIDS in our country. Every year HIV & AIDS claims a large number of lives globally. Pakistan is also facing a challenge from this disease due to a number of risk factors which are similar to those which have in the past led to the AIDS epidemic in other countries.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2016, I am pleased to note that the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination has made concrete and concerted efforts through the National AIDS Control Programme to address various risk factors. I am also pleased to know that a holistic strategy has been adopted by National AIDS Control Programme focusing both on prevention and treatment of the disease with special attention to vulnerable groups.
In order to minimize the spread of HIV, the Government is providing care and support services through public sector hospitals free of cost including screening of blood and treatment. The promulgation of blood safety ordinance both at federal and provincial level and supply of diagnostic kits and laboratory consumables and equipment to all provincial, AJK FANA and federal centers are critical advances in fight against the disease.
One of the factors inhibiting the fight against AIDS is the stigma surrounding HIV resulting in discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS. On this day, I call upon every citizen, particularly the health service providers, to address the issue of discrimination against people living with HIV, respect and protect their human rights and dignity. I also urge government institutions, civil society, philanthropists, and development partners, NGOs and every citizen to refuse to perpetuate the stigma surrounding HIV in workplaces and communities and thereby help make Pakistan and the whole world free of HIV by 2030.