HIV/AIDS in Asia
||This article needs attention from an expert in Medicine. (November 2008)|
In 2008, 4.7 million people in Asia were living with HIV according to the United Nations. The UN believes that Asia’s epidemic peaked in the mid-1990s, and annual HIV incidence has subsequently declined by more than half. Regionally, the epidemic has remained somewhat stable since 2000.
Compared with other regions, notably Africa and the Americas, the national HIV prevalence levels in East Asia are very low (0.1% in the adult (15-49) group). However, due to the large populations of many East Asian nations, this low national HIV prevalence still means that large numbers of people are living with HIV.
The picture in this region is dominated by the People's Republic of China. Much of the current spread of HIV in China is through intravenous drug abuse and paid sex. The number was estimated at between 430,000 and 1.5 million by independent researchers, with some estimates going much higher. In the rural areas, especially in Henan province, large numbers of farmers participated in contaminated blood transfusions; estimates of those infected are in the tens of thousands.
Official figures (English) for July–October 2006 showed that just over half of domestic HIV/AIDS cases were amongst homosexual men, with the remainder transmitted through heterosexual intercourse, drug abuse, in the womb or via unknown means. Independent research has suggested that actual infection rates may be much higher, especially amongst the young.  
Korea cumulative reported cases of HIV surpassed 6,000, and 797 reported in 2008.
As of November 2009, there are 18,815 (0.082%) Taiwanese nationals reported cases. Currently HIV/AIDS patients of Taiwanese nationals can enjoy free medical care (including HAART therapies), with the state covering the cost. Non-governmental organizations have set up "AIDS Half-Way Houses" for homeless patients. The ratio of patients of drug users increases rapidly, which has led the authority to promote a harm reduction program.
South and South-East Asia
The HIV prevalence rate across this region is less than .35 percent. Due to the population size this brings the total of HIV infections to 4.2 - 4.7 million adults and children. More AIDS deaths (480,000) occur in this region than any other region except sub-Saharan Africa. This sprawling region is not just vast but diverse, with the nature, pace and severity of HIV epidemics differing across the region. The AIDS picture in South Asia is dominated by the epidemic in India, but new data released by UNAIDS shows that India as of 2007 has a relatively low Aids prevalence rate. With an estimated 2-3.1 million infections, India has the third largest number of people with aids after South Africa and Nigeria.
In South and Southeast Asia, the HIV epidemic remains largely concentrated in injecting drug users, men who have sex with men, sex workers, and clients of sex workers and their immediate sexual partners. New infections occur are occurring in Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia at a steady rate. Prevention strategies in these populations are, for the most part, inadequate.
The AIDS picture in South Asia is dominated by the epidemic in India. In South and Southeast Asia, the HIV epidemic remains largely concentrated in injecting drug users, men who have sex with men, sex workers, and clients of sex workers and their immediate sexual partners. Migrants, in particular, are vulnerable and 67% of those infected in Bangladesh and 41% in Nepal are migrants returning from India. This is in part due to human trafficking and exploitation, but also because even those migrants who willingly go to India in search of work are often afraid to access state health services due to concerns over their immigration status.
HIV is not currently a dominant epidemic in Pakistan. However, the number of cases is growing. Moderately high drug use and lack of acceptance that non-marital sex is common in the society have allowed the AIDS epidemic to take hold in Pakistan, mainly among injection drug users, some male sex workers and repatriated migrant workers. AIDS may yet become a major health issue. The National AIDS Control Programme’s latest figures show that over 4,000 HIV cases have so far been reported since 1986, but UN and government estimates put the number of HIV/AIDS cases around 97,000 (range 46,000 to 210,000). More realistic estimates that are based on actual surveillance figures, however, suggest that this number may be closer to 40,000 - 45,000. The overall prevalence of HIV infection in adults aged 15 to 49 is 0.1% (and Shah et al. under review) (0.05% if one accepts the lower estimates).
The national response to HIV started focusing on Most At Risk Groups in 2004 and so far included 9 cities where injection drug users and sex workers receive prevention and harm reduction services and 12 HIV care centers where nearly 1000 patients receive antiretroviral drugs.
The Philippines has a relatively low incidence of HIV/AIDS. There have been about 2800 reported cases since 1984, but independent estimates put the number of cases closer to 12000. The majority (70-75%) of carriers are male, 25-39, and the predominant mode of transmission is through sexual intercourse.
Although national incidence remains to be relatively low, an independent HIV surveillance study conducted in 2010 by Dr. Louie Mar Gangcuangco and colleagues from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital showed that out of 406 men having sex with men tested for HIV in Metro Manila, HIV prevalence was 11.8% (95% confidence interval: 8.7- 15.0). 
AIDS was first reported in Sri Lanka in 1986. First indigenous transmission was in 1989. As of March 2013, 1693 persons were diagnosed with the virus. Over 4200 persons are estimated to be infected with the virus. Most common mode of transmission is heterosexual followed by homosexual.
Sex workers are considered most at risk. Number of partners per sex worker is comparatively low (4 per week) compared with other countries (Bangladesh 18-36 per week). There condom use rate is relatively high (67.6). Blood transfusion service is mostly state run and is considered safe. Of the 35,000 drug users less than 1% are thought to be injecting drug users.
532,522 Thais were living with HIV/AIDS in 2008.
The UN believes that there were approximately 290,000 people living with HIV as of 2008.
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- KaiserNetwork: Korea cases
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- "The Ministry of Health has Detected…". Bhutan Observer online. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- Fiona Samuels and Sanju Wagle 2011. Population mobility and HIV and AIDS: review of laws, policies and treaties between Bangladesh, Nepal and India. London: Overseas Development Institute
- HIV Cases On The Rise In Malaysia, Says UN Coordinator
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- New government in Pakistan faces old challenges
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- More teenaged girls getting HIV infection
- AIDS epidemic update 2005 (PDF)
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- AIDSPortal Asia page Latest research, case studies and news stories
- Aids Crisis in India Sapna Magazine Article
- AIDSPortal Central Asia page Latest research, case studies and news stories