Pathways to prevention: insights on stemming HIV outbreaks in Larkana, Pakistan

Hussain Ahmed Raza, Mohummad Hassan Raza Raja, Muhammad Mussab Khakwani, Minahil Khakwani, Bushra Jamil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past two decades, Pakistan has faced multiple human immunodeficiency virus outbreaks, with Larkana appearing to be the hub of such outbreaks. While the previous Larkana outbreaks happened in high-risk populations, the alarming outbreak in 2019 occurred in a low-risk paediatric population, raising several concerning questions. Human immunodeficiency virus infections spilling into the general population is indicative of a steady increase in the number of cases, and the failure of control strategies to stem the concentrated epidemic from evolving. Although several causative factors have been identified from previous outbreaks, the one that occurred in 2019 may have been influenced by an additional, hitherto unexplored factor; child sexual abuse. The current narrative review was planned to summarise human immunodeficiency virus risk factors and causes identified in previous Larkana epidemics, to explore potential reasons for the outbreaks in children, and to discuss possible steps needed for stemming human immunodeficiency virus outbreaks in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-548
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Children
  • Epidemics
  • HIV
  • Pakistan
  • Risk factors


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