Social media apps, the new cause to HIV/AIDS in Pakistan
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Social media apps, the new cause to HIV/AIDS in Pakistan

According to recent survey and research conducted by health experts and activists, the number of HIV/AIDS infected young pupil is rising drastically in Pakistan as a result of these social media apps. Though technology has strongly fought against the growth of the disease, but the rise of digital has killed the struggle unfortunately.

Not only social media apps, but mobile apps have also opened new avenues for social interactions in the conservative south Asian country, The Guardian reported.

The apps are a quick way to interact by all means, whether text messages, videos or pictures that rise the intentions of partners to meet each other. Moreover, as per the report, for gay men and male sex workers in particular, these smartphone apps provide a degree of sexual liberation to quite an extent.

According to facts and figures, the rate of HIV has jumped up drastically within the country over the past decade, from 8,360 people living with HIV in 2005 to nearly 46,000 in 2015 – a 17.6% annual increase, compared with 2.2% worldwide. Thus, the social stigma surrounding homosexuality means the actual numbers are likely to be much higher.

“In Pakistan, there has been a rise in HIV among boys and men, due to easy access to male dating apps, because of advancement in technology, and availability of inexpensive gadgets,” said Sophia Furqan, a senior programme officer with the National Aids Control Programme in Pakistan.

Health experts in the UK and US have warned that other than these social media & mobile apps, dating apps could lead to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, with apps like Tinder and Grindr making it easier to arrange casual hookups with unknown partners.

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