30th May, 2019
Police in southern Pakistan have arrested a man for killing his HIV-positive wife in an epidemic-hit region, officials said on Thursday.
The man in the town of Ratto Dhero strangled his wife on the suspicion of cheating on him and hanged her body on a tree to make the death look like a suicide, police official Waheed Mangi said.
Situated in the province of Sindh, Ratto Dhero is a small town where around 800 people, mostly children, have tested positive for HIV in past two months.
The man killed his 32-year-old wife because he believed that the HIV infection meant she must have had other sexual partners, said another police official, Irfan Baloch.
Health authorities have screened around 25,000 people in the town this month, said doctor Sikandar Memon, head of AIDS control programme in Sindh.
A team led by doctors from the World Health Organisation (WHO) is visiting the region on Thursday to determine the exact cause of the epidemic and suggest preventive measures, Memon said.
The Pakistan government earlier this week declared a health emergency in the region and sought assistance from global bodies like the WHO and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control.
Health experts have suggested that the virus may have spread through the re-use of infected syringes by poorly trained medics in rural Pakistan.
There are around 170,000 registered HIV infected people in Pakistan, according to the National AIDS programme in the capital Islamabad.