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Residents of Pakistan's Tribal Areas Face Dangerous Obstacles to Access HIV/AIDS Treatment

September 9, 2011

"Having to contend with U.S. army drones and the crossfire between the Taliban and the Pakistani army, the residents of Pakistan's tribal areas find access to treatment for HIV/AIDS harder than in most other parts of the world," Inter Press Service reports. People with HIV/AIDS living "in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) must cross the porous border into Afghanistan and take a circuitous route to Peshawar, capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to get timely anti-retroviral treatment (ART)," at a family care center established by the Pakistan government and the WHO, the news service writes.

"The WHO's Dr. Omar Ali says the government has been requested to facilitate access to FATA to provide treatment to the patients there, but there has been no response," the news service writes, adding, "Ali says the number of [people living with HIV/Aids] was increasing because of intravenous drug use, lack of screening facilities in the blood banks, use of unsterilized equipment by dentists and recycling of disposable syringes" (Yusufzai 9/8).

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