HIV/AIDS in Japan
HIV/AIDS in Japan has been recognized as a serious health issue in recent years. However, overall awareness amongst the general population of Japan regarding sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, remains low.
News outlets reported in 2006, that the number of new cases reported that year had reached a record high. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare official figures from 2006 reported that just over half of domestic HIV/AIDS cases were amongst homosexual men, with the remainder transmitted through heterosexual sex, drug abuse, in the womb or via unknown means.
Japan reported 9,953 HIV cases and 4,671 AIDS cases as of August 2008, of which 6,503 HIV and 3,002 AIDS cases were in the Kantō region (which hosts about one third of Japan's population). In December 2009, the World Health Organization reported the number of HIV cases in Japan to be at least 17,000. This equates to roughly 0.01% of the population of Japan, one of the lowest ratios of reported HIV in the world.
Tainted blood products scandal
During the 1980s, HIV-tainted blood products were used in Japanese hospitals, particularly for the treatment of hemophiliacs. The estimated figure of hemophiliacs inadvertently infected with HIV through tainted blood is 50%.
In 1989, hemophiliac groups brought up lawsuits against the Ministry of Health and Welfare and several drug companies. Particular controversy centered on centers who continued use of non-heat-treated blood products after heat-treatment methods had been developed to prevent spread of infection.
- "New HIV Infections Hit High in Japan". The Nation. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Everybody's talking sex in Japan, but nobody's hearing AIDS". Mainichi Daily News. 24 February 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Japan reports record new HIV infections, AIDS patients in 2006". Yahoo! Asia. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- エイズ動向委員会報告メニュー. English translation.
- "HIV report". World Health Organization. December 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- BBC: 'Japan's Aids time bomb.' 13 July 2004.
- Japanese Foundation for AIDS Prevention. In English.
- '"Japan" in Fighting a Rising Tide: The Response to AIDS in East Asia.' 2006 report on the state of Japan's HIV/AIDS policies and responses.
- Friends of the Global Fund, Japan. English and Japanese.
- 'Japan: HIV/AIDS.' globalhealthreporting.org. Links to HIV/AIDS news in Japan.