WHO warns of HIV epidemic in Asia

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aids ww mapMANILA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO)warned here on Thursday that the HIV/AIDS situation in Asia will further worsen unless political leaders meet their promises to step up efforts to stop the virus from spreading.

"The number of people living with HIV continues to grow," WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shigeru Omi said in a report issued by the international health body.

"High-risk behavior, such as injecting drug use, unprotected paid sex and unprotected sex between men, is especially evident in the HIV epidemics in some regions, including Asia," he added.

The WHO report said that this year an estimated 8.6 million people were living with HIV in Asia, 960,000 of whom were infected in the past year.

Half of the said new infections in Asia occurred through unprotected sex, according to the WHO, while nearly 44 percent of the people living with HIV are believed to have been infected while injecting drugs.

The WHO issued the report before the World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, putting "accountability" as the theme this year. It calls on political leaders to support programs in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to raise greater awareness of HIV/AIDS, including evidence-based interventions for most-at-risk populations. 

source - Xinhua 

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