25,000 heroin addicts in City
KARACHI - The increasing number of drug addicts is an alarming situation for the government as there are over 25,000 heroin users in Karachi alone. The government in a recent survey has admitted that 30 to 40 HIV positive cases are reported every year across the country.
Pakistan is, at present, concentrated epidemic country for HIV/AIDS, while WHO/UNAIDS estimates that there are round 46,000- 210,000 adult HIV positive cases in Pakistan.
According to the National AIDS Control Programme surveillance report second quarter 2006, reported HIV positive cases are 3,047 out which 783 are injecting drug users.
A major epidemic has already been detected among injecting drug users in the city of Karachi, of whom 26 percent were found HIV-infected in 2004 by the Ministry of Health Pakistan.
In this wake a Drug Demand Reduction HIV Child and Gender (DDRCG)’s consultant Zakir Shoaib told The Nation that more than half million people including women were injecting heroin in their bodies.
It is deplorable that the current statistics on Pakistan’s drug problem are outdated and do not tell the whole story, while the number of drug addicts has increased rapidly in few years, he added. He said that more then 2,500 reported cases of HIV positive have been reported in various parts of Pakistan, according to statistics since the disease was officially acknowledged in the late 80’s. However, many believe the actual figure to be much higher at 70,000.
By: Waqar Hamza | Published: November 15, 2009