Published: Saturday 31 January 1998

Not aids, but the fear of the disease is giving Pakistan its worst nightmares. Recently, five-year old Saira was denied admission by a school -- not because she is Human Immuno-defficiency Virus (hiv) positive -- but because her parents had died of aids. Without a proper aids education programme, the nation's perceptions of the disease is as frightening as reality. After her parents' death, Saira remains ostracised and faces a life of isolation in a country that fears a disease it cannot understand. More children in Pakistan are reportedly dropping out of schools because of the fear of AIDS and not due to the disease itself.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.