Bilawal says HIV can be treated, not death punishment

LARKANA: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday said that HIV is not a death punishment and that it can be treated.

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In a tweet, the PPP chairperson said, “HIV is not a death sentence. The conflation of HIV and AIDS is fueling stigmatization of the most vulnerable people in Pakistan. This cannot and should not be tolerated. I stand by my fellow Pakistanis who have contracted HIV, be they in Ratodero, Swabi, Sargodha or Turbat.”

He added, “from the Sindh HIV and AIDS Control and Prevention Bill 2013 to the free distribution of contraceptives Sindh has and will continue to pass and enact the most progressive legislation and programs to protect the most vulnerable.”

A day earlier, Bilawal had announced that the Sindh government will set up an endowment fund for the treatment of HIV patients while talking to media in Ratodero.

“There is a huge difference between HIV and aids,” Bilawal said. “There is a lack of awareness about HIV in Pakistan, everyone needs to be aware of HIV so that they can protect themselves,” he said.

People need to understand that they cannot contract the illness by merely touching a person with HIV, PPP chairperson added.

Speaking to media, Bilawal announced the inauguration of Children Emergency Center in Larkana along with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and the health minister.

Bilawal said the Sindh government opened ER for children in the province which are up to the international standards and the ER in Karachi hospitals have been updated.

Bilawal said Sindh will progress when attention will be given to the health of mothers and children. He said he was taunted with good governance and he has made three better hospitals in Sindh.

Bilawal said no other province has medical facilities like Sindh and now the federal government is snatching hospitals from the Sindh government which he is claiming through the National Finance (NFC) Award.

Bilawal warned the federal government to revoke its decision of undertaking Sindh hospitals, he also accused the federal government of spreading fear of HIV. He said he has been monitoring the HIV situation from day one and the epidemic is a problem of the entire country, not just Sindh.

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