Key Populations

Reaching out to most-at-risk populations in Cebu, Philippines
Photo: WHO/F. Guerrero

Reversing a positive trend, the numbers of new HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific have not declined this decade. Despite progress in treatment and prevention, studies have identified an increase in infections amongst people with higher vulnerability and who are more likely to be infected.

These include men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs, sex workers, and people in prisons and other closed settings. They not only face higher rates of HIV infection, but also hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections. Youth are particularly vulnerable as they may experiment with risky behaviours. All are part of the wider community, and infections within small groups can spread far beyond.