As many as 29 more suspected cases of HIV were detected after the screening of 1,195 people in Ratodero taluka of Larkana district on Wednesday, District Health Officer Dr Abdul Rehman Baloch said.
The cases emerged as the blood screening camp at Taluka Hospital Ratodero continued for a 17th day on Wednesday where a team of doctors along with technicians carried out the tests.
Today's figure, which includes 10 children, has taken the total number of people who tested positive for HIV in Ratodero since the blood screening exercise was launched to an alarming 524.
As part of the crackdown started against quacks and unregistered health facilities following the outbreak of HIV cases in Larkana, teams of the provincial health department today sealed two dental clinics where syringes were allegedly being reused.
On Tuesday, a total of 1,616 people were screened at the Ratodero camp and of them, 33 were identified as HIV-positive including two women and 31 children (17 boys and 14 girls).
4 test positive for HIV in Shikarpur
Also on Wednesday, four more people were identified as HIV-positive in Shikarpur, taking the total number of such cases in the district in recent days to 27, according to officials.
DHO Shabbir Sheikh said the cases were detected during the screening conducted by health teams of 800 people in different villages of union councils Kiran, Dhakkan and Qazi Patti.
He said because there was a fear of more HIV cases emerging in the area, the health department has dispatched its teams across the district for the screening of residents.
Dr Sheikh told DawnNewsTV that health officials were facing difficulties in the blood screening drive due to a shortage of HIV testing kits. He said he had written about the issue to health authorities but has not received a response so far.
He said they wanted to complete the blood screening drive as soon as possible but the teams were proceeding slowly because of the hot weather and Ramazan.
3 cases emerge in Badin
Three people in Badin district also tested positive for HIV during blood screening conducted at a laboratory, according to Dr Mohammad Haroon Memon, the focal person on HIV/AIDS Control Programme in Badin.
Talking to Dawn, Dr Memon revealed that six people who were suspected to have the virus were referred to him from different areas of the district during the past 45 days. Following tests, three of them were identified as HIV-positive while as many tested negative.
The doctor said that the process of blood screening was also underway in Badin District Jail where the blood samples of 360 inmates were collected during the past three days but none of them had so far tested positive.
"We are working on war footing to examine the suspects as well as those wishing to get themselves tested after a large number of cases were reported from Larkana and other districts," Dr Memon said, adding that the latest three cases have pushed the total number of HIV-positive patients in Badin district to 83 since 1995.