Health experts and activists have warned although technology has strengthened fight against HIV and Aids in several countries, it has led to an increase in HIV infection among young people in Pakistan.

In the conservative South Asian countries, mobile apps and social media have paved new paths for social encounters. Smartphones provide a degree of sexual liberation, a method for connecting with partners far from the roads.

Being unaware of the risks of HIV, allowing the spread of the virus to a fast-track.

Over the past 10 years, HIV rates have jumped dramatically in Pakistan, from 8,360 people living with HIV in 2005 to 46,000 in 2015 a 17.6 % annual increase, compared with 2.2 % worldwide.

“In Pakistan, there has been an ascent in HIV among young boys and men, because of simple access to male dating apps, in view of headway in technology, and accessibility of cheap or inexpensive gadgets,” said a senior program officer with the National Aids Control Program in Pakistan Sophia Furqan.

Furqan assembled a study of HIV contaminations in Pakistan, in which around 39% of respondents said they discovered their sexual accomplices using portable applications.

In any case, in Pakistan, open verbal confrontation about HIV is gagged by disgrace, homosexuality is forbidden and, thus, data on sexually transmitted infections is seriously constrained.

Technology has likewise set off an unintentional ascent in contamination rates somewhere else. Health experts in UK and US have cautioned that dating apps could prompt an expansion in sexually transmitted diseases.

HIV in Pakistan and the way that sex education in Pakistani schools is seriously missing, and the danger of spreading STDs is more prominent, said Furqan.

In Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, the few offers of HIV counseling are provided by private NGOs such as the Dostana Male Health Society, which works with the LGBT community and male sex workers.

Dostana gives out free contraceptives and lubricants, and will soon begin distributing pre-exposure prophylaxis under a Global Fund grant in collaboration with the National Aids Control Programme.

Programme manager at Dostana Raza Haidar said there was “no doubt” that mobile apps and social media had promoted the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. While he acknowledged that same-sex relations have always been possible, Haidar said apps and social media have made approaching strangers easier, particularly for men.

Gay relationships are easier to hide than heterosexual ones. A man and a woman in the same room will immediately raise suspicions, “but families will think that two men are just friends,” said Haidar.

Ayan at 19 years old began as a sex worker to help his family. Two years back, he was diagnosed to have HIV.

For Ayan, apps and social media have not just made life more secure by enabling him to approach clients off the road, out of seeing vicious police who demand bribes, but at the same time are used for business, even mainstream platforms like Facebook. “Each application is a dating application,” Ayan said.

A few names have been changed to secure the character of sources.