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J Pak Med Assoc. 2006 Jan;56(1 Suppl 1):S22-4.

HIV-infected workers deported from the Gulf States: impact on Southern Pakistan.

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  • 1Sindh AIDS Control Programme, Karachi, Pakistan.


HIV prevalence is still very low in Pakistan, but its south Asian location and subgroups with recognized lifestyle risk factors suggest that Pakistan will experience expanded diffusion of HIV. We report the frequency of HIV infections identified by the AIDS Control Programme in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Most HIV positive cases currently reported to the Sindh AIDS Control Programme are found among Pakistani workers deported from the Gulf States and among foreigners. The 58 returned workers with HIV represent 61 to 86% of reported cases in any given year during the 1996-1998 period. Five wives of returning workers have been identified with HIV. Expatriate workers in the Gulf States are tested for HIV routinely, unlike other subgroups in Pakistan. Considering the risk of HIV/AIDS due to regular introduction of HIV from returned workers, and the limited awareness surrounding sexual health and HIV/STD transmission issues in Pakistan, intervention programmes targeted at overseas workers need to be implemented to control the expansion of the HIV epidemic in Pakistan (Int J STD AIDS 1999;10:812-14).

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