UN Says Indonesia, Vietnam Face Growing HIV Epidemics
November 20, 2007
UNAIDS figures released today show Indonesia has Asia's fastest growing HIV epidemic, while the number of cases in Vietnam rose more than twofold, to 260,000, between 2000 and 2005.
Southeast Asia, the region with the continent's highest HIV prevalence, displayed wide variations among countries, UNAIDS' annual report found. "While the epidemics in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand all show declines in HIV prevalence, those in Indonesia (especially in the Papua province) and Vietnam are growing," the agency said.
For both countries, the majority of new infections occurred among injecting drug users. However, more male-to-female transmissions are occurring via men who were infected through IV drug use or unsafe sex with prostitutes, the report said. But in Indonesia's remote Papua province, which borders Papua New Guinea, the main form of HIV transmission was unprotected sex. A province-wide survey in 2006 revealed a serious epidemic, with 3 percent of people ages 15-24 infected.
The report found some good news: "In Cambodia, there is evidence that well-focused and sustained prevention efforts can help reverse an HIV epidemic," UNAIDS reported, noting that the adult HIV rate fell to an estimated 0.9 percent in 2006 from a peak of 2 percent in 1998.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.