More than 500 people have been tested positively for HIV in southern Pakistan in an outbreak that local officials are being refuted in a pediatric heart.
Nearly 14,000 individuals are now seen in the district outside of Larkana where the sudden increase in HIV coverage has been detected, said Dr. Sikandar Memon, the regional coordinator of the Aids Control Program.
In positive tests, 410 children, Dr Memon told Pakistan newspaper Dawn . He said another 29 patients were positively tested in the last round of blood screening on Wednesday in the main hospital in Rato Dero, 25km outside of Larkana, seen as epidemic center.
We will tell you what is true. You can build your own view.
A doctor accused of infecting his patients by repeated use of a single, contaminated syringe remains in caution as the outbreak was first reported late of April. Dr Muzaffar Ghangharo, whose officials said he was living with HIV, was charged but denied allegations.
Authorities do not allow the possibility that outbreaks are the result of gross, widespread negligence in a region with high prevalence of shady medical practices.
UNAids said that international partner organizations are joining local groups to test and contain and inspect outbreaks. In a statement, it said that there were concerns that about 600,000 unqualified physicians were unlawful in Pakistan, 270,000 of them in the Sindh province where Larkana was located.
The outbreak is also bringing attention to the lack of awareness of HIV and education in most of the poor communities of this part of Sindh.
Resources have reached the limitations of parents who demand screening for their children and drugs for positive tests. "They're coming in dozens," said a doctor at a temporary clinic set to try and cope with the situation.
"We are helpless, I have other children and I fear that they will catch the disease," a mother whose recent daughter tested positive for HIV said the AFP news agency.
"[Please] send some medicines for our children so they can be healed. Otherwise, all of our children will die, right?"
The UN said that Pakistan is the second fastest the growing HIV rate in Asia, with some 20,000 new infections in 2017 alone.
Dr. Maria Elena G Filio Borromeo, the country's director of UNAids for Pakistan and Afghanistan, visited Larkana to assess the response to this outbreak of weakness.
He asked why the first report of a spike in HIV cases came from local media and did not establish official monitoring processes.  Dr Borromeo said that children younger than two months were affected by the outbreak and said they would deal with the consequences throughout their lives. The UN's Global Fund will stop paying for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Pakistan from Decemb In 2020, leaving the local government to cover costs.
Such outbreaks will continue until "reusing use of needles and unsafe injection and blood transfusions are common throughout the nation", he told The News Pakistan. "The UN is ready to bring experts from abroad and introduce the best practices … but local authorities [must] prepare mid-term and long-term strategies to prevent such proliferation in the future, "she said.