Pakistan study blames HIV outbreak in kids on bad healthcare

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A group of Pakistani doctors blames a recent outbreak of HIV among children in a southern city on poor healthcare practices such as using dirty needles and contaminated blood, according to a statement released yesterday.

The doctors are also urging Pakistan’s government to do more to understand how the virus went from high-risk groups such as drug users to the general population. They also warned that there isn’t enough medication in the city of Ratodero, in southern Sindh province, where 591 children need medical treatment.

The outbreak is extremely worrying, said the doctors, calling it “one of the worst” in Pakistan. They studied medical data of 31,239 people in Ratodero, where the HIV outbreak took place and who agreed to the study.

Out of that group, 930 were positive for HIV, with 604 of them being younger than five years of age and 763 younger than 16 years, according to the study published by the international Lancet Infectious Disease Journal.