Pakistan is the second largest country in South Asia that stands only a few steps behind India and Nepal in terms of HIV epidemic. Until recently Pakistan was classified as a ‘low prevalence high risk’ country but now Pakistan is in a ‘concentrated phase’ of the epidemic with HIV prevalence of more than 5% among injecting drug users (IDUs) in at least eight major cities. However, the country still has a window of opportunity as the current estimates, using the various latest prevalence estimation models; indicate that the HIV prevalence among general adult population is still below .1%. According to the latest national HIV estimates there are approximately 97,400 cases of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan.
The Enhanced HIV & AIDS Control Programme (Federal Component) and its provincial units are currently implementing a comprehensive program throughout the country to halt the HIV epidemic. The principal components of the program include interventions for target groups, HIV prevention campaign for general public, prevention of HIV transmission through blood and blood products, and capacity building and Programme management.
The Enhanced HIV & AIDS Control Programme (Federal Component) EHACP has come a long way since 1986 to develop into a comprehensive and effective response to the threat of HIV and AIDS epidemic in Pakistan. The Programme initiated an enhanced multi-sectoral response to the epidemic in 2003 with the help of the international donors and other partners. The first phase of this response is concluding in December 2009. The next 5-year phase envisages consolidation of achievements made to-date and scaling up of services to include wider geographical coverage of services.
Some of the recent achievements of NACP include;
- ECNEC approval of the AIDS Progamme PC-1s,
- Approval of Revised HIV/AIDS Control Programme PC-1s (6) by CDWP,
- CDWP Approves Safe Blood Transfusion Project PC-1s,
- Award of US $ 44 million Global Fund R-9 HIV Proposal,
- Award of US $ 9.0 million Global Fund Regional Proposal,
- Revival of the German funded Safe Blood Transfusion project,
- Revision of National HIV estimates,
- Strengthening of the National HIV/STI Referral laboratory,
- Operationalization of the National M&E framework,
- Organization of the Ministerial Meeting on Migrant Workers during the 2009 World Health Assembly Session,
- National consultations on scaling-up the response among IDUs, FSWs, and MSMs.
- Agreement on Oral Substitution Treatment Pilot Project
- Signing of FSW Technical Assistance contract
- Continuous provision of ARVS through GFATM R- 2 grant
- Special Surveillance Round for Female Sex Workers in Punjab, and Sindh with UNAIDS collaboration
- Collaboration with FELTP, and CDC, Atlanta-USA for TA on HIV outbreak surveillance and Referral laboratory
- 2-year Cost Extension of CIDA funded Surveillance project,
- Ongoing dialogue with USAID – forthcoming HIV project for addressing the gaps in NSF-II