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National stakeholders’ consultation to review Pakistan’s HIV/AIDS response

Islamabad, April 24, 2013 (PPI-OT): To assess the country’s progress on its commitment to the ten targets and elimination commitments set in 2011 at the United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS; a National consultation was organized in Islamabad on 23 April 2013, by the National AIDS Control Programme in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The objective of the consultation was to review the country wide AIDS response, mark achievements, identify constraints and challenges and define a way forward to achieve the targets by 2015 and also to discuss strategies to sustain the efforts post 2015.

The meeting was chaired by the Manager National AIDS Control Programme and was attended by wide range of stakeholders including Managers of the Provincial AIDS Control Programmes; UN Agencies including UNODC, WHO, UNICEF, UN-Women, UNESCO, ILO, World Bank; NGOs, Civil Society Organizations and People Living with HIV and AIDS. A great achievement of recent years was the development of Provincial AIDS Strategies of all the four provinces in 2012, providing a road map to the provincial AIDS responses over the next five years and subsequent development of AIDS specific PC-1s with allocation of more resources from public sector.

However, the meeting also acknowledged existence of wide gaps in service delivery coverage in prevention and treatment and a critical need for scale up. The disparity among the number of people estimated to be in need of antiretroviral treatment and prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services, versus those who were actually receiving treatment and PMTCT services, was accepted and discussed.

The need for initiation of Oral Substitution Therapy [OST] for people who inject drugs across the four provinces was identified as a critical intervention to arrest new infections in this population. The need of regular surveillance, monitoring and evaluation was urged to access reliable data for planning, targeting key populations and resource mobilization.

This comes at a critical moment for the AIDS response to strengthen accountability, country ownership, maintain the momentum and re-affirm commitment towards achieving the targets as well as ensuring that AIDS response is properly integrated and positioned into debates around the Post-2015 development agenda in Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Ms. Ishrat Rizvi
National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
Tel: +9251 835 5720
Cell: +92300 855 3790
Email: ishrat.rizvi@unic.org

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