Message from the Chief Executive
For the past ten years we have worked hard to ensure that those people suffering from HIV and AIDS have the rights that I did not have in 1990. We have worked not only to ensure that PLHIV had access to treatment and pre and post test counseling, but that PLHIV can access comprehensive care and support services which includes socio-economic support. We also focus on awareness raising workshops with PLHIV and their families, media, religious leaders, formal and informal healers, youth, and beauticians.
Over the years New Light AIDS Control Society has had many successes and we continue to grow and expand the wealth of our services. We are providing socio-economic support to more People Living with HIV and AIDS and their families than ever before. We continue our efforts to breakdown discrimination at all levels and have held workshops and training sessions with religious leaders, health care providers, media persons and general public this year.
But despite our success in past years, New Light and its members still face continued challenges. Although attitudes are changing but there is still much discrimination and stigma experienced by PLHIV within Pakistani society.
In past few years there were some improvements in treatment services for PLHIV; Government realized the need of care and support services. Establishment of National Association of People Living with HIV is another success at larger scale to highlight the issues of PLHIV in Pakistan.
Our society has an obligation to look after every citizen, even if he/she is HIV positive. We must all work towards a culture that fosters understanding and acceptance. It is the government’s responsibility to provide Anti Retroviral Treatment so that PLHIV can sustain normal and healthy lives. But this treatment needs to be accompanied with a comprehensive care and support programme, which addresses the additional socio-economic needs of PLHIV. We need to push our government to change public policy to ensure these services are offered to all citizens as part of their basic human rights.
I am happy to see that people are now beginning to understand and address the issues of PLHIV. We need to continue our hard work in awareness raising campaigns throughout Pakistani communities. We hope to see the day when PLHIV can live healthy and productive lives free from stigma and discrimination.