Volume 18, No. 6, 2021

Covid-19, Economic Lockdown, Treatment Interruptions And The Fear Of Survival Among Hiv/Aids Patients In Malakand Division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Dr. Sana Ullah , Dr. Sadia Saeed , Dr. Faisal Khan , Prof. Dr. Arab Naz


The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is evolving as a global public health concern. It has infected millions of people while millions have been died of COVID-19 related illnesses. In Pakistan, COVID-19 had infected all types of people, however; people with pre-existing risky health conditions are at particular risk of contracting the virus. This paper is based upon the argument that different measures such as physical distancing, self-quarantine or isolation, economic lockdown, suspension of non emergency treatment, and travel restrictions that have been adopted to control the spread of COVID-19 have produced treatment interruptions for HIV/AIDS patients. The economic issues faced by the HIV/AIDS patients have intensified other social and psychological challenges and increased their fear of survival. The study was carried out in District Dir Lower, while applying qualitative approach. Fifteen (15) respondents were selected for interview, from a list of 45 respondents (identified through survey). The study utilized purposive sampling techniques, while those HIV/AIDS patients were selected who have faced treatment interruptions as a result financial issues that were created by of COVID-19 pandemic. Verbal consent was obtained and codes instead of names were used to prevent disclosure of respondents’ identity. The study found that complete or partial lockdown intensified the existing economic issues of HIV/AIDS patients and as a result they faced treatment interruptions. It was also found that HIV/AIDS patients also faced social and psychological issues, and the fear of exposure to COVID-19 which aggravated their existing vulnerabilities. The study suggests provision of economic packages, strengthening of response towards both HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 patients and extending social and moral support to HIV/AIDS patients to integrate them and decrease their anxiety, frustration and isolation.

Pages: 780-789

Keywords: COVID-19, Economic issues, Treatment Interruptions, Lockdown, Vulnerabilities, Integration, Fear, Isolation

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