Message from Mr. Asif Ali Zardari President of the Islamic republic of Pakistan on the occasion of world aids day

Islamabad: World AIDS Day being observed today is a reminder to everyone to enhance awareness about Aids and how to prevent it. The theme this year “Getting to Zero” meaning no new HIV infections, no discrimination and no Aids related deaths calls for renewed determination by governments, health practitioners, NGOs and the people to prevent HIV infections and ensure access to treatment for all without discrimination. Indeed it is a wakeup call to act decisively and act now.

Effectively combating HIV and AIDS requires that everyone should have equal access to information about preventive measures and the available treatment programs. It also requires that every one refuses to discriminate against the HIV infected patients.

HIV treatment still eludes many people living in the world’s poorest communities living in developing countries. Unfortunately the health care systems in most of the developing countries falls short of providing even the most basic health services. As HIV is an issue of global concern it is important that the international community specially focuses on Aids prevention and cure in these countries.

As a result of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, health has been devolved to provinces. I am confident that the federal and all provincial governments are cognizant of their responsibilities to accord high priority to health and prevention and cure of the HIV. We need to train the health care providers to help in preventing spread of HIV and also to treat and counsel patients living with HIV or AIDS.

One of the factors inhibiting the fight against Aids is the stigma surrounding HIV resulting in discrimination against the patients. On this day therefore I wish to call upon every citizen, particularly the health practitioners, not to discriminate against people living with HIV.

In accordance with the theme of World Aid Day this year let us pledge to work towards zero discrimination against patients suffering from HIV.I also urge government institutions, civil society, philanthropists, and 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 HIV and AIDS free.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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