AIDS epidemic at a critical juncture in Asia-Pacific region
Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and on the occasion of the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (10th ICAAP), being held at Busan, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released a new report on the HIV epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region. The report titled ‘HIV in Asia and the Pacific: Getting to Zero’, provides the latest regional and country-level data on the HIV epidemic and response, and offers perspectives on the situations, opportunities and challenges currently at play.
According to the report the AIDS epidemic in the Asia and Pacific is at a crossroad. Although there has been a 20% drop in new HIV infections since 2001 and a threefold increase in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), the epidemic still outpaces the response – there are still almost two new HIV infections for every person who starts treatment. There is inadequate focus on most-at-risk-populations (MARPs) and insufficient funding from both domestic and international sources.
“Getting to zero new HIV infections would demand national responses based on science and the best available evidence. HIV programmes must be sufficiently resourced and solidly focussed on key populations. Investments made today will pay off many fold in the future,”