Independent Member National Assembly (MNA) Jamshed Dasti on Wednesday urged parliamentarians to undergo HIV tests.
“All parliamentarians should undergo HIV test — rather every Pakistani should do so,” MNA Dasti said on floor of the assembly during the question hour.
Dasti’s proposal came after the Minister of National Health Services (NHS), Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarrar revealed that the number of AIDS patients in Pakistan crossed the 100,000 mark this year.
At the same time, she said only 7,819 HIV patients have registered themselves and only 3,700 patients were receiving proper treatment. She added that AIDS has killed around 5,800 people in Pakistan so far.
Tarrar said the stigma associated with HIV was a major reason keeping people from getting themselves tested for the virus or in the case of HIV patients, forcing them to conceal their medical condition.
Endorsing Dasti’s proposal, the minister urged the government to come up with legislation that would make it mandatory for citizens to get themselves tested for HIV. She also suggested that a couple should clear HIV tests before entering conjugal relations.