UN Agencies released report on prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Asia-Pacific region

As per the report, 40 per cent of the estimated 3 million females in the sex industry in India are under 18, with 17 per cent under 15.

Created On: Dec 3, 2015 15:44 ISTModified On: Dec 3, 2015 15:57 IST

UNICEF, UNAIDS and partners on 30 November 2015 released a report on prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Asia-Pacific region. It was entitled Adolescents: Under the Radar in the Asia-Pacific AIDS Response and was being released to mark the World AIDS Day observed on 1 December 2015.

As per the report, The HIV burden among adolescents falls heaviest on ten countries in the region, which together account for 98 per cent of adolescents aged 10 to 19 living with HIV in Asia-Pacific.

These are: Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Key findings of the report

• The Asia-Pacific region is facing a hidden epidemic of HIV among adolescents.
• There were an estimated 50000 new HIV infections among adolescents aged 15-19 in 2014, accounting for 15 per cent of new infections.
• There are now around 220000 adolescents living with HIV in the region, with large cities like Bangkok, Hanoi and Jakarta hubs of new infections.
• Although new HIV infections are falling overall, they are rising among adolescents from key populations, in particular young gay men and other men who have sex with men.
• The rise in new infections coincides with an increase in risky behaviour, such as multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom use.
• Adolescents at higher risk of HIV include gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, injecting drug users, and people who buy and sell sex.
• It will not be possible to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 without tackling the epidemic among adolescents.
• To transform the situation, the report recommends that governments develop better data on adolescents, strategies for HIV prevention, and adolescent-specific laws and policies.
• However, only 10 countries in the region are known to have laws and policies enabling independent consent for young people to access HIV testing and related services.
• In the Philippines, new HIV infections among 15-19 year olds have risen by 50 per cent over four years, from an estimated 800 in 2010 to 1210 in 2014.
• In South Asia, AIDS-related deaths among 10-19 year olds have almost quadrupled from around 1500 in 2001 to 5300 in 2014. In East Asia and the Pacific, deaths have increased from 1000 to 1300 over the same period.

Report with respect to India

• In 2012, while HIV prevalence in the age group younger than 25 years old was 3.5 percent, it was 4.9 percent among above 25 years age population.
• In India, 40 per cent of the estimated 3 million females in the sex industry are under 18, with 17 per cent under 15.
• In 2012, HIV prevalence among sex workers (under 25) was 1.7 percent.
• In 2013, HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs was 5.3 (under 25 age) and 7.7 (above 25 age).
• It appreciated Sex worker organizations in the country for demonstrating the effectiveness of adopting an empowerment approach based on community mobilization, peer-based health promotion, self-regulation, active engagement on law enforcement issues and participation in dialogue about law and policy reform.

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