HIV Stable in Asia but Rising Among Women, Gay Men
November 30, 2009
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Asia is generally stabilizing, though the infection rate among women and gay men is rising in some nations, according to the UN's "2009 AIDS Epidemic Update." In the region, women accounted for 35 percent of people living with HIV last year, up from 19 percent in 2000.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia have nearly a one in five chance of becoming HIV-infected. High prevalence among MSM has been found in Myanmar (29.3 percent), Bangkok (30.7 percent), Chongqing, China (12.5 percent), southern India (7.6-18.1 percent) and Indonesia (5.2 percent).
While adult HIV prevalence is below 1 percent everywhere in Asia except Thailand, the region also has a low diagnosis rate due in part to discrimination and cultural and legal barriers, the report said. About two-thirds of Chinese with HIV have not sought treatment because of fear, ignorance and discrimination, said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS.
"People are hiding themselves," Sidibe said, noting "homophobic laws" in some nations prevent candid HIV awareness among MSM. The epidemic is "steadily expanding into lower-risk populations through transmission to the sexual partners of those most at risk," the report said.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.