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Bill for AIDS control passed

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday unanimously passed the Sindh HIV and AIDS control, treatment and protection bill, 2013, which envisages establishment of a commission for the prevention, control, care, support and treatment of the deadly disease in the province.

The bill tabled by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Dr Sikander Mandhro suggests punishment with imprisonment of five years and a fine which may extend to Rs200,000 for any person who deliberately exposes others to the risk of transmission by not disclosing his HIV-AIDS status.

The minister said before the bill’s adoption that HIV-AIDS was the most dangerous disease.

“It was first identified in 1981, which was killing by degrees 60 million people every year the world over, more than the number of humans who perished in the Second World War,” he said.

If people were aware about the disease and the patient received proper treatment after detection of the syndrome, he or she could survive from 40 to 60 years, he added.

Participating in the discussion on the bill, other lawmakers Dr Sohrab Sarki, Sherjeel Memon, Dr Sikander Shoro, Khurshid Junejo, Nusrat Seher Abbasi, Khurram Sher Zaman, Sabir Hussain and Zubair Ahmad said the bill was the need of the hour and suggested launching an awareness campaign about the disease, beginning from including it in schools’ syllabus.