More young people contracting HIV

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south east asiaEAST ASIA - Every 15 seconds, a young person contracts HIV in East Asia. This shocking statistic illustrates the rapidly growing number of young people infected with the virus.

In Malaysia alone, 35 per cent of reported HIV infections occur among those below 29 years old.

A total of 70,559 HIV infections, including 10,663 AIDS cases, were reported last year.

Over 6,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 years are newly infected throughout the world each year and young people now make up 50 per cent of the world’s new HIV infections.

In addition, there are nearly 1,800 new paediatric infections each day.

With an estimated 930,000 new HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific in 2005, UN agencies have called for urgent efforts to better integrate HIV prevention, treatment and care into maternal and newborn health services.

In China, 40 per cent of infections are among those under 30, and in Vietnam, 63 per cent of infections occur among those under 30.

Thailand sees 28,000 new infections a year, with 50 to 60 per cent comprising children and young people under 24.

UNAIDS director (regional support team for Asia and the Pacific) J.V.R Prasada Rao said the overwhelming majority of HIV infections were sexually transmitted or associated with pregnancy, child birth and breast-feeding.

He said the number of people living with HIV in the Asia-Pacific region was 8.3 million in 2005 and growing.

UNAIDS estimated that by the end of 2003, about 168,000 children in the region were infected, up from 136,000 at the end of 2001. In 2004, in Asia, there were an estimated 155,400 pregnant women infected with HIV and 46,900 children became infected with HIV.

"To prevent new HIV infections in children, we must prevent HIV infection in women," said Richard Leete, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) resident co-ordinator for Malaysia.

Richard Bridle, Unicef deputy regional director for Asia and the Pacific said: "Many countries in Asia and the Pacific already have national guidelines in place for the prevention of parent to child transmission. Many countries have trained health workers and are introducing treatment."

The Asia-Pacific joint forum, from Nov 6 to 10, brings together health professionals, government representatives, people living with HIV, and civil society groups from 22 countries in the region.

It is jointly organised by WHO (World Health Organisation), Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population Activities) and UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programmes on HIV/AIDS).

Delegates are expected to agree on a framework for stronger links between maternal and child health, family planning, sexual health and counselling and testing for HIV and sexually-transmitted infections.

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on November 8, 2006 2:17 PM.

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