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Police arrest Larkana, accused of spreading HIV | Cheers

The doctor, employed in a public hospital, is an HIV patient, authorities said, while the number of HIV cases increases to 39. Photo: AFP

LARKANA: Police arrested a doctor suspected of being responsible for the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the Ratkero district of Larkana, Geo News reported on Tuesday.

Muzaffar Ghanghar, a physician who works in a public hospital, is an HIV patient, police said, filing a lawsuit against the accused and bringing him to court.

The number of HIV cases increased to 39 as panic gripped the district and authorities attempted to discover the causes behind the spread of the virus among residents.

Twenty-two children are among patients diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes the deadly AIDS disease, which cost millions of lives worldwide by 2016.

Dr. Sikander Memon, head of the AIDS Control Program in Sindh, said a team will arrive in Ratodero next week to determine the root causes of HIV transmission among residents.

According to an estimate by Dr. Memon, there are more than 100,000 HIV-positive people in Sindh, however, the AIDS Control Program has only 10,350 registered patients receiving treatment.

Larkana remains at the top of the list of districts most affected by HIV in Sindh, with the total number of AIDS patients in Larkana in more than 2,400.

In total, 76.1 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV since the epidemic began in the 1980s. About 35 million people have died.

So far, there is no HIV vaccine or cure, and infected people rely on antiretroviral therapy to stop virus replication.

Without treatment, people infected with HIV begin to develop AIDS, a syndrome that weakens the immune system and leaves the body exposed to opportunistic infections, such as tuberculosis, and some cancers.

The treatment has side effects and is expensive, but it allows infected people to be healthier for longer.

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