Category Archives: Health & Beauty

Some Best Ever Quit-Smoking Tips

stop smoking

No. 1: Know Why You Want to Quit

So you want to quit smoking, but do you know why? “Because it’s bad for you” isn’t good enough. To get motivated, you need a powerful, personal reason to quit. Maybe you want to protect your family from secondhand smoke. Maybe the thought of lung cancer frightens you. Or maybe you’’d like to look and feel younger. Choose a reason that is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up.

No. 2: Don’t Go Cold Turkey

It may be tempting to toss your cigarettes and declare you’ve quit, plain and simple. But going cold turkey isn’t easy to do. Ninety-five percent of people who try to stop smoking without therapy or medication end up relapsing. The reason is that nicotine is addictive. The brain becomes used to having nicotine and craves it. In its absence, the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal occur.

No. 3: Try Nicotine-Replacement Therapy

When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may make you feel frustrated, depressed, restless, or irritable. The craving for “just one drag” may be overwhelming. Nicotine-replacement therapy can help reduce these feelings. Studies suggest nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches can help double your chances of quitting successfully when used with an intensive behavioral program. But using these products while smoking is generally not recommended.

No. 4: Ask About Prescription Pills

To ease nicotine withdrawal without using products that contain nicotine, ask your doctor about prescription medications. There are pills that help reduce cravings by affecting chemicals in the brain. They may also make smoking less satisfying if you do pick up a cigarette. Other drugs can help reduce troubling withdrawal symptoms, such as depression or inability to concentrate.

No. 5: Don’t Go It Alone

Tell your friends, family, and co-workers that you’re trying to quit. Their encouragement could make the difference. You may also want to join a support group or talk to a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies. Combine behavioral therapy with nicotine replacement products and/or medication to boost your odds of success.

No. 6: Manage Stress

One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you’ll need another way to cope with stress. Try getting regular massages, listening to relaxing music, or learning yoga or tai chi. If possible, avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.

No. 7: Avoid Alcohol, Other Triggers

Certain activities may boost your urge to smoke. Alcohol is one of the most common triggers, so try to drink less when you first quit. If coffee is a trigger, switch to tea for a few weeks. And if you usually smoke after meals, find something else to do instead, like brushing your teeth or chewing gum.

No. 8: Clean House

Once you’ve smoked your last cigarette, toss all of your ashtrays and lighters. Wash any clothes that smell like smoke and clean your carpets, draperies, and upholstery. Use air fresheners to help rid your home of that familiar scent. You don’t want to see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking.

No. 9: Try and Try Again

It’s very common to have a relapse. Many smokers try several times before giving up cigarettes for good. Examine the emotions and circumstances that lead to your relapse. Use it as an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to quitting. Once you’ve made the decision to try again, set a “quit date” within the next month.

No. 10: Get Moving

Physical activity can help reduce nicotine cravings and ease some withdrawal symptoms. When you want to reach for a cigarette, put on your inline skates or jogging shoes instead. Even mild exercise is helpful, such as walking the dog or pulling weeds in the garden. The extra calories you burn will also ward off weight gain as you quit smoking.

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What are side effects of smoking?

smoking

1. Heart disease

Smokers in their thirties and forties have a heart attack rate that is five times higher than their nonsmoking peers. Cigarette smoking may be directly responsible for at least 20% of all deaths from heart disease, or about 120,000 deaths annually. Smoking cigars may also increase the risk of early death from heart disease, although evidence is much stronger for cigarette smoking.

Its damaging effects on the heart are multifold:

Smoking lowers HDL levels (the so-called good cholesterol) even in adolescents.

It causes deterioration of elastic properties in the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body, and increases the risk for blood clots. It increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (which regulates the heart and blood vessels).

Tobacco smoke may increase cardiovascular disease in women through an effect on hormones that causes oestrogen deficiency.

2. Cancer

Smoking is the cause of 85% of all cases of lung cancer in 2000, account for 28% of all cancer deaths. Quitting reduces the risk for lung cancer, even well into middle age.


Smoking and smokeless tobacco also cause between 60% and 93% of cancers of the throat, mouth, and oesophagus. Smokers also have higher rates of leukaemia and cancers of the kidney, stomach, bladder, and pancreas. About 30% of cervical cancers have been attributed to both active and passive smoking. Lung cancer patients who survive and continue to smoke face a serious risk of developing a second tobacco-related tumour within ten years.


3. Dementia and neurologic diseases


People who smoke a pack a day have almost two and a half times the risk of stroke as non-smokers. The best current research suggesting that smoking makes little difference in the risk for Alzheimer’s, and if it does, the risk for dementia is slightly higher in smokers. Certainly, smoking can affect blood vessels in the brain as it does in the heart, increasing the risk for dementia from small or major strokes.


4. Lung disease


Smoking is associated with a higher risk for nearly all major lung diseases, including pneumonia, flu, bronchitis, and emphysema. There is also a link between smoking and increased asthma symptoms. Heavy smokers with asthma are also more likely to seek emergency treatment for their condition during times of heavy ozone pollution.


5. Female infertility and pregnancy


Studies have now linked cigarette smoking to many reproductive problems. Women who smoke pose a greater danger not only to their own reproductive health but, if they smoke during pregnancy, to their unborn child. Some of these risks include the following:

Greater risk for infertility in women.

Greater risk for ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage.

Greater risk for stillbirth, prematurity, and low-birth weight.

Smoking reduces folate levels, a B vitamin that is important for preventing birth defects.

Women who smoke may pass genetic mutations that increase cancer risks to their unborn babies.


6. Male sexuality and reproduction


Men’s sexual and reproductive health is not immune from the effects of smoking.

Heavy smoking is frequently cited as a contributory factor in impotence because it decreases the amount of blood flowing into the penis.

Smoking also reduces sperm density and their motility, increasing the risk for infertility.

7. Behavioural and Social Problems


Children of smoking mothers are more likely to have more motor control problems, perception impairments, attention disabilities, and social problems than children of non-smoking mothers. Some reasons for these associations have been suggested:

Women who breast feed and smoke pass nicotine by-products to their babies, which may contribute to these problems.

Women smokers tend to be less educated than women non-smokers, which may cause increased stress at home.

Smoking mothers and their children may share certain inherited psychologic factors, such as depression, which cause addictive and behavioural problems that are unrelated to smoking itself.

8. Effects on bones and joints


Smoking has many negative effects on bones and joints:

Smoking impairs formation of new bone and women who smoke are at high risk for osteoporosis.

Postmenopausal women who smoke have 17% greater risk for hip fracture at age 60, a 41% greater risk at 70, and a 108% greater risk at age 90.

Smokers are more apt to develop degenerative disorders and injuries in the spine.

Smokers have more trouble recovering from spinal surgery.

Smokers whose jobs involve lifting heavy objects are more likely to develop low back pain than non-smokers.

In women, smoking may also pose a small increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis

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Side Effects of Energy Drinks and ingredients of Energy Drinks

energydrinks

Are there really side effects from the ingredients in Energy Drinks?

Energy Drinks have become a major issue as people continue to consume more and more.

If you’ve experienced other energy drink side effects tell us about them in the comments below.

Top 10 Energy Drink Side Effects

Recent research in Australia has highlighted the risks with over-consumption of energy drinks. This data was gathered from 7 years of calls to the Australian Poisons Center.

Listed in order of most common to least common:

  1. Palpitations / tachycardia
  2. Tremor / shaking
  3. Agitation / restlessness
  4. Gastrointestinal upset
  5. Chest pain / ischaemia
  6. Dizziness / syncope
  7. Paraesthesia (tingling or numbing of the skin)
  8. Insomnia
  9. Respiratory distress
  10. Headache

Energy drinks contain supplements and vitamins and are required to list warnings on the label about consuming more than the recommended serving.

In moderation most people will have no adverse, short term side effects from drinking energy drinks, however, the long term side effects from consuming energy drinks aren’t fully understood as of yet.

Potential Problems from Specific Ingredients

Let’s take a look at the most common energy drink ingredients and list the potential side effects that could result from ingesting too much of them from your favorite energy drink.

Caffeine

This is the most common energy drink ingredient and one of the most widely consumed substances in the world.

Caffeine tolerance varies between individuals, but for most people a dose of over 200-300mg may produce some initial symptoms: restlessness, increase heartbeat, insomnia.

Higher dosages can lead to more.

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance (diarrhea)
  • Increase urination
  • Dizziness, irritability, nausea, nervousness, jitters.
  • Allergic reactions can include; rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the (mouth, face, lips, or tongue), diarrhea, shakiness, trouble sleeping, vomiting.
  • Headache and severe fatigue from withdrawal.
  • Breast shrinkage in females.
  • Painful withdrawal symptoms if not consumed.

Caffeine can be found in other ingredients such as guarana,  green tea extract, and coffee extract as well as many other names, so be aware of this when reading energy drink labels.

Adrenal Fatigue

Some people can become tired after consumption of caffeine. This is a symptom of adrenal fatigue where the the body’s adrenalin system has become overtaxed by constant high caffeine intake. The answer is not to increase caffeine even more – but to reduce, detox, and get the adrenal glands back to a healthy state.

Remember it’s hard to pinpoint a safe dose because it varies from person to person and according to a person’s tolerance. Between 500 milligrams to 1000 milligrams in a 24 hour period will probably lead to some of the more severe side effects.

Sugar

Most energy drinks are high in sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup and/or cane sugar. Some use creative names to make their version of sugar seem healthier, like “natural cane juice” or they’ll call it “glucose”.

  • High sugar drinks are linked to the obesity epidemic
  • Tooth Decay
  • Increases risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • The sugar in energy drinks causes blood sugar and insulin spikes which later result in a “crash like” feeling.

Taurine

No side effects from Taurine in energy drinks have been documented.  Some countries (France, Denmark, and Norway) originally banned energy drinks because of their taurine content, but have since accepted that taurine consumption is safe based on the evidence to date.

The amounts placed in energy drinks are well below what would be needed for therapeutic benefit or for any potential side-effects.

B Vitamins

  • More than 35mg of Niacin (B3) can cause flushing of the skin. Intake of 3000mg or more can result in liver toxicity.
  • More than 100mg of B6 can cause sensory nerve problems (burning sensation) or skin lesions.

Inositol

No known side effects have been reported, but ingesting large quantities has been linked to diarrhea. Large doses have been used to treat certain psychiatric disorders.

Ginseng

  • Some studies have linked it to sleeplessness, while others refute this.
  • Other possible symptoms include; low blood pressure, edema, palpitations, tachycardia, cerebral arteritis, vertigo, headache, insomnia, mania, vaginal bleeding, amenorrhea, fever, appetite suppression, pruritus, cholestatic hepatitis, mastalgia, euphoria, and miscarriage.

Glucuronolactone

While no side effects have been reported there’s still debate on its safety. However many countries including Canada, England, Germany, and France have concluded that it is not a safety concern.

Artificial Sweeteners

If you drink sugar-free energy drinks you may consuming any number of artificial sweeteners. There is always debate around the health effects of these (particularly aspartame) all major health institutions regard them as safe.

Ginkgo Biloba

Gingko is a herb, and can cause some minor side effects in some people:

  • nausea, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, and restlessness.
  • Can interact with other medication such as blood thinners and anti-depressants.
  • A recent study found that ginkgo caused thyroid cancer in rats.

L-Carnitine

  • vomiting, nausea, headache, diarrhea, stuffy nose, restlessness and sleeping difficulty.

L-Theanine

This amino acid is derived from green tea and many energy drinks and shots have begun putting “green tea extract” in their products.

It produces a different type of alertness than caffeine and there hasn’t been any scientific evidence of it causing adverse side effects. Some have reported feeling light-headed when consuming a dose of more than 300mg of L-Theanine.

What is Safe For You?

Energy drinks should not be a staple. If you need caffeine then coffee is a healthier source.

Despite a number of alarming reports of overdose in recent years, for most people energy drink consumption is fine in moderation.

Many reported side effects are anecdotal – being reported from patient’s records. It’s hard to say which ingredient actually caused the problems if the patient was ingesting several combinations of these at one time.

Be Careful of Pre-existing Conditions

If you or your child has a pre-existing heart condition of any sort – they should not be consuming energy drinks. In general it is better to avoid the larger drinks (i.e. Mega Monster has a massive 240mg caffeine in its 24 fl oz giant can), and stick to smaller 8oz cans.

If you drink responsibly and use energy drinks when you need a boost of energy and not use them as a replacement for water, then you most likely will avoid energy drink side effects.

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Dhabi Group Make a Health Care Company in Lahore with Name Al Razi Healthcare


Dhabi Group who parent group of Wateen Telecom and Warid Telecom, has recentely launched Al Razi Healthcare (Pvt) Ltd.Lahore to meet health care needs of Pakistan.

The inauguration ceremony took place in Lahore in Royal Palm Golf and Country Club (RPGCC). Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Shareef inaugurated the event by unveiling the opening plaque along with Mr. Bashir Tahir, CEO of the Dhabi Group.

Chief Executive Officer of Al Razi Healthcare, Dr. Osman Bashir Tahir, while addressing the audience said “For me it’s a dream come true as I along with my team wanted to set-up such a healthcare facility in Pakistan that sets gold standards in the health sector of Pakistan. Our ambition is “High-quality, affordable health care for all” and our slogan is ‘Patient Care First’. Alhamdulillah, today we present Pakistan’s most advanced diagnostic facility that offers state-of-the-art equipment, supported by a team of qualified specialists to ensure prompt, highly reliable and accurate results for all with no compromise on patients’ comfort and care.”

The parent brand, Al Razi Healthcare, includes services provided under the sub-brands: Al Razi Healthcare Diagnostics, Family Health Centre, Women’s Health Clinic and The Rejuvenation and Wellness Clinic.

Initially, the company has launched its services in Lahore and plans to soon expand its geographical reach.

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Tips & Ways to Get Ride of Pimples

pimples
Are you worry about pimples that always seem to pop up at the most inopportune period eg, before a big date, important job interview or your wedding day)? You need to get rid of pimples, and fast! Try these quick fixes to help rapidly banish that breakout.
1. Spot-Treat It
Over-the-counter spot treatments deliver a generous amount of acne-fighting ingredients directly to the blemish. Choose one that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Experiment to find which works best for you.

Some spot treatments are made to be left on overnight. Others are incorporated into a makeup concealer or are tinted to hide the blemish while it heals.

If you’d rather go the all-natural route, try dabbing on a drop of tea tree essential oil a few times a day. Some sources claim tea tree oil is as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide.

You’ll be tempted to over-apply that spot treatment. Don’t! You’ll wind up with flaky, irritated skin you can’t disguise with makeup. Always follow the usage directions precisely.
2. Mask It
If spot treatments quite not working, you may have better luck with a sulfur mask. Sulfur helps unclog pores and reduce inflammation, and has been used as an acne treatment for many, many years. Today’s treatments don’t have the unpleasant scent of those from years past.

You can find inexpensive masks containing sulfur at your local drug store or more pricey products at posh department stores or salons. Some products can be left on a spot overnight for maximum effectiveness; others must be rinsed off after a few minutes. Make sure you follow the directions on your product, and never leave a mask on overnight unless it specifically says it’s OK to do so.
3. Ice It
Here’s a tip I learned from my favorite esthetician: apply an ice cube to inflamed blemishes. The cold temperature will help reduce redness and swelling, making the blemish look better. This is also a cool trick for those blemishes you can feel starting under the skin.

You never want the ice cube directly touching your skin, so first wrap it in tissue or a soft cloth, and don’t ice the pimple for too long (frostbite anyone?). Ice for 20 or 30 seconds, followed by a minute or so of rest, a few times per day or just before you go out.

Why cold and not heat? If you’re trying to hide a pimple, the worst thing you could do is steam it (or apply a hot compress) just before you go out. Heat can make the pimple look larger and more red.
4. Zap It
Make an emergency visit to your esthetician, and let her zap the blemish away with her high frequency machine. This machine uses a high frequency current to kill bacteria that cause inflamed blemishes.

Your esthetician will run a small electrode over the blemish. You won’t feel a thing, except maybe a slight tingle, and within a few hours the pimple will be noticeably smaller.

If you can’t get in to the salon or you just like the idea of having your own personal zit zapper, you may want to invest in a Zeno device. It works under the same principle, except it is hand-held and battery-operated. You can buy Zeno at some dermatologist offices, salons and even at some retail stores.

Compare Prices for Zeno Acne Clearing Device
5. Inject It
For those incredibly deep, painful, cystic breakouts, your best option is to call your dermatologist for a cortisone injection

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How to lose Weight and Burn extra Calories

weight-lose
Now a days almost everyone over weight person wants to lose weight quickly, But that is completely impossible.For losing weight you need to pay concentration with your time. It’s a process to lose weight can only be done in at least six months, and you will end up with healthy weight loss. Off course no one wants to go beyond the healthiness.

First of All Start Walk:
For losing weight you need to make a tottly new set up of your life. Usually we do not wakeup early in morning, but now make changes in your bad habits and wakeup early in the morning.Its have tow benifits not only gives you more time but also you will have a healthy body and beautifull outlook, just because of waking up early. Also you can go for walk instead of roaming in home. Walk is just another alternate for your gym and heavy workouts.

It would be good for you, if you walk in any park nearby your town home. Start walk for about 15 minutes and then step by step increase the time, make it at least for an hour. You will see remarkable changes in your weight.

Cycling is Good For lose weight:

Cycling is another alternate way against your heavy workouts.Just go for cycling daily at any time which you have free. But make sure you must enjoy what you are doing in. and if you don’t want to go out for cycling you can easily buy one. A mini cycle can easily be adjust in you home and you can enjoy your favorite TV show while doing exercise. Cycling is a perfect exercise for your legs as well as whole body.

Use Stairs :

Almost everyone use lifts and accelerators instead of stairs. But my point is when we have stairs why should not we use them? They are good not only for losing weight but also for building up stamina. This is the perfect exercise for your legs and for burning the extra calories.

Eat Healthy:

If you want to keep yourself healthy and active then never starve yourself by using strict diet. It is good to eat healthy but not to starve. You need to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain, fish and whatever healthy you can get. But quitting meals is certainly not a good idea.

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Tips to reduce your Calories and Weight Quickly

weight_loss
If you are engaged in a serious battle with your bulges using a carefully devised weight reducing program, then it is necessary that you learn the basic information regarding calories and its relation to your weight reduction program.

A pound of body fat is equivalent to about 3500 calories. Thus, if you are able to achieve a calorie deficit of about the same amount through exercise, diet or a program that combines both, then you are in effect reducing your body weight by about a pound. In general terms, this corresponds to 75% of fat component and 25% of lean tissue. A person who is able to achieve a calorie deficit of 7000 will lose 2 pounds. You can achieve your desired levels of calorie deficit either by restriction of calorie intake or by combining activities that regulate calorie intake and increase the level burned calories. Thus, it is important that you adopt a weight loss program that combines healthy diet and regular exercise.

If you want to succeed in your weight loss program, a critical indicator for lowering your intake of calories is reducing it by no less than 500 calories a day. However, the reduction should not be more than 1000 of your normal level of daily maintenance.

Here are 4 important tips to follow to reduce your calorie intake.

Make it a habit to drink an 8-ounce of water before a meal. Your fluid intake will make you achieve the feeling of being full with lesser food intake.
Use a salad plate instead of the regular sized plate when eating your dinner. Our normal behavior is that we fill up the plate every time we eat. By using a salad plate you are effectively cutting down the amount of your food intake thereby reducing the amount of calories that you take in.
Follow a regular schedule for your exercise. It is important to remember that you need to burn those calories in order to reduce weight. You should also understand that it is important that the amount of calories that you take in daily must be lower than the calories that you are able to burn during exercise in order to meet your target weight.
Chew a gum while cooking as this will send the appropriate signal to your brain for the sensation of actually eating and will trigger a response as if your stomach is full.

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Health Tips for Computer and Laptop Users

health-tips-bloggers
Do know why people spending long hours before laptops and computer are more prone to health problems? If your answer is no, then my article will help you in knowing the hurdles faced by those people and solutions for those problems.
For Example a person xyz spend much time on computer or laptop because he is a blogger and computer wizard but he suffers from health problems like neck pain, obesity, stress, back pain, head ache, and hand pain. The simple mistake he does every time is that he simply neglects his health. I know there are thousands of people who are similar to that of person –xyz and my request to all of them is just take care of yourselves with the following suggestions and simple tips to be safe from those irritating health problems.

Things you must remember before starting your daily schedule.

Drink more water – the reason I stressed on water is that most people neglect this and this is one of the best health tip ever to solve many problems and I will briefly tell you the advantages of drinking more water. the simple thing to remember this u should always keep a water bottle or jar near you (computer) to drink more water
1. If you drink more water all the toxins and waste in your body is easily washed away.
2. It keeps your brain healthy and makes you fit by improving the body metabolism.
3. Risk of heart attacks is reduced and makes you feel good by improving efficiency of every system in your body.
Do regular exercises –you must have strong dedication for this where you have to set up a daily schedule (morning and evening) and do some simple exercises to have following advantages :
1. If you do exercises daily you can control the problem of obesity and over weight and this is seen frequently among computer users who sit for long time where they spend very less time in doing work which need some action and energy. So this is must and should for people like those.
2. Before going to work on your computer do some stretching exercises for your neck and hip and also for your hands.
3. If you have to stay only in your office room or your working place then you can do some simple exercises there itself in between your work.
4. Have a walk between long hours of your work and this helps you feel relaxed and maintain blood supply to your brain and body which is very essential.
Eating habits – this is one of the most important thing you must seriously look at , for this I would like to suggest you some of the following tips:
1. Eat nutritious food with good fiber content and also see that you don’t take junk foods.
2. Keep alarm for food timings and if you find it difficult ask any person working along with you to remind you regarding your lunch or dinner.
3. Never eat too much or too less and maintain food sufficient for your work and your body size.
4. Try to reduce carbohydrates in your diet like rice and wheat if you are over weight and balance it with other minerals and nutrients.

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A Survey About Prostituters sex workers in Pakistan about HIV and Aids

pakistanaids_1534503c
Shumaila is a prostitute, who was born and brought up in Karachi’s Napier Road red-light district. Until recently she had never heard about HIV and Aids.

She carries condoms but clients refuse to wear them.

“None of us were aware about the danger of Aids looming over us for years but now we all know and can avoid it,” said the tall 29 year-old, who lives in a Victorian-style building in the heart of the neighbourhood.

Shumaila’s awareness – rare among Pakistan sex workers – is thanks to the gender and reproductive health forum, a local charity that runs a UN-funded programme in Napier Road teaching prostitutes about the perils of HIV/Aids.

“So far we have provided hundreds of thousands of condoms to sex workers in the last two years, which have saved them from being infected with the lethal virus,” said Mirza Aleem Baig, who runs the forum.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest metropolis and one of the biggest Muslim cities in the world, has up to 100,000 female sex workers, according to data gathered by Pakistan Society, a local welfare organisation.

“This is 20 per cent of their overall population in Pakistan. Lahore comes next with 75,000 sex workers,” Saleem Azam, head of the charity, told AFP.

Prostitution may be illegal but it has prospered in an increasingly Islamised Pakistan, where an economic downturn and widening poverty have forced women and men onto the streets to meet the rising cost of living.

Shaheena, 38, is a home-based sex worker. She is a skilled paramedic but seldom finds a permanent job.

“So I opted to enter this business on the side,” she told AFP, veiling her face to hide her identity.

“I have siblings, cousins, nephews and nieces who don’t know about my second profession. So I don’t want to identify myself to avoid embarrassing them.

“But it’s a question of survival as none of my relatives support me with money. They are all too stretched themselves,” she said.

Azam says more than 60 per cent of Pakistan’s prostitutes work from homes or ply the streets, while the elite serve wealthy clients from kothikhanas (houses or rooms) in plush neighbourhoods.

This year’s annual UN report on Aids suggested that while the epidemic in Asia appears to be stable overall, HIV prevalence is increasing in some parts of the region, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.

A survey published in the report said 60 per cent of female sex workers and 45 per cent of their male clients in Karachi and Lahore do not know that condoms can prevent transmission of HIV.

Of those who do, few protect themselves.

“The number of our clients who agree to wear a condom is very small. Female condoms are not available, which can save us more effectively,” said Nasreen, another prostitute in Napier Road.

“I can’t carry condoms in my purse on the street as we’re vulnerable to the police and could be arrested if they find them,” said Afshan, 29, who walks the city’s busy streets looking for clients.

The most recent survey conducted by Pakistan’s state-run national Aids control programme (NACP) in 2006 said only 18 per cent of sex workers reported always using condoms.

The UN report estimates that around 96,000 people, or 0.1 per cent of the population, live with HIV in Pakistan. The government suggests that only 5,000 people are infected.

NACP says the disease is spreading among high-risk groups, especially drug users, who mostly inject and use dirty needles, raising fears the virus could spread quickly from addicts to prostitutes.

In 2006, Pakistan said HIV/Aids prevalence among female sex workers was around 0.02 per cent, but independent bodies put it much higher.

“It is at least 15 per cent,” said Azam. “They are totally at the mercy of their clients. Most of their clients refuse to wear condoms.

“In Pakistan, this business is illegal, thus there is no law seriously to tackle the issue and save precious lives. Yet a way out is desperately needed on humanitarian grounds.”

Baig said he had identified an HIV-positive sex worker a few months ago and tried to help her with treatment and a new job but she left because her colleagues considered her a blot on their business.

“Now, no one knows where she is and what she is doing,” he said.

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