HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Region 2003
The HIV/AIDS epidemic poses a very serious health and developmental problem in many countries of the Asia Pacific region. Given the presence of risk behaviours and the population size representing 60% of the world's people, the potential for epidemic growth is very real. Since the extensive spread of HIV began at the end of the 1980s, more than 7 million people in the region have become infected. In the year 2003 alone, it is estimated that more than 500 000 died of AIDS in Asia - about 1500 a day!
The first edition published by the WHO Regional Offices for the South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions report on HIV in the Asia Pacific region was in 2001 and was as well received. Within the framework of UNAIDS, WHO plays a leading role in the health sector response to HIV/AIDS. Within that context, collecting data and analysing the current status and future prospects for HIV/AIDS, including its implications, is an important priority for WHO. It is hoped that this report, like the last one, will contribute to a better understanding of the epidemic in the Asia Pacific region, and that countries will use the information it contains to guide them to a better response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The report should help also in mobilizing resources, including those from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
The document includes a general overview on HIV/AIDS status and trends in the Asia and the Pacific Region and a section which provides descriptive details on HIV/AIDS situation for each country