Like other Asian countries, Pakistan is following a comparable HIV epidemic trend having moved from ‘low prevalence, high risk’ to ‘concentrated’ epidemic in the early to mid-2000s. Pakistan’s epidemic is primarily concentrated among two of the key population groups driving the epidemic in the country. These are People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) with a national prevalence of 27.2% (weighted prevalence of 37.8%); followed by Hijra (Transgender) Sex Worker (HSW) standing at 5.2% and then 1.6% among Male Sex Worker (MSW). Fortunately the prevalence in Female Sex Workers still remains low at 0.6%. The geographic trend of key populations is from major urban cities and provincial capitals, expanding over time to smaller cities and peripheries.
To respond to this threat NACP in collaboration with Provincial programs and other partners developed its first national strategy framework in 2001 that culminated in establishment of first response called Enhanced HIV and AIDS Control Project that ended in 2008. This was followed by 2nd National strategic Framework that was more focussed to interventions in Key Populations. The country then developed the 3rd Strategic Framework 2015-20 that focussed on quality HIV treatment and care services.
After devolution in 2011 the Provinces mobilized their own resources that were mainly used to prevent the infection from establishing in Key Populations. The country also succeeded in getting three Global Fund grants and the present grant is more directed to strengthening HIV treatment care and support services to HIV positives and their families.
We hope that with this commitment by the Government and our key partners we will be able to prevent the spread of this disease from transmitting from Key Populations to General Population and will help those infected and affected with this disease by providing them quality HIV treatment and care services.