The HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific varies in different areas. In this respect, new HIV infections in South and South-East Asia are decreasing, whereas in East Asia are increasing. These regions have the second highest prevalence of HIV in the world. In 2016, approximately 5.1 million people were living with HIV/AIDS and there were approximately 270,000 new infection in the region.
Men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs and transgender people are among the key affected populations to HIV in the region. In 2016, HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men was higher than 5% in ten of the 21 countries that reported data. The prevalence among these men has been particularly high across urban areas. Also, One third of all people who inject drugs are in Asia and the Pacific. In 2015, 20 – 65% of all new adult HIV infections were from the group who inject drugs in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Pakistan and Vietnam. Regarding the transgender people, there were high HIV prevalence among this group in Asia specially India and Cambodia. In these countries, the HIV prevalence in transgender people is higher than men who have sex with men. Other groups with the high risk to HIV are migrant workers and women. Children and adolescents also lag behind adults in treatment rates, and often have higher death rates from HIV/AIDS-related causes. In 2016 women accounted for 36.7% of adults with HIV in Asia due to unsafe sex and other factors.
AIDS-related deaths among 10-19 year old almost increased abruptly in South Asia between 2001 and 2015 (from 1,500 to 5,300), and they have increased from 1,000 to 1,300 during the same period in East Asia and the Pacific. Despite a 38% decline in new infections among children age 14 and younger in Asia and the Pacific between 2010 and 2016, the number of HIV-positive children in the region continues to grow. In 2015, approximately 190,000 children in the region were living with HIV.
Stigma and discrimination still exists as common characteristics of daily life for many people with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable populations in Asia and the Pacific. 80% of people with HIV/AIDS have the experience of discrimination in the work area, community or among family members. Some research have indicated more than 50% of people would feel uneasy about eating food that was prepared by a person living with HIV suggesting the false beliefs about routes of HIV transmission in the society.
1-HIV in Asia and Pacific, avert.org, last updated in July 2018 .
2-UNAIDS , 2011, People Living with Stigma Index: Asia Pacific Regional Analysis 2011.
3-UNAIDS, 2016, Regional factsheets Asia and Pacific 2016.
4-UNAIDS ,2017, Data Book.
5-UNAIDS,2017, Fact Sheet—World AIDS Day 2017.
6-UNICEF, UNAIDS and partners: Adolescents: Under the Radar in the Asia-Pacific AIDS Response.