In contrast with Untitled Sub-Saharan Africa or Untitled Latin America and the Caribbean , the Untitled AIDS epidemic has gained foothold in Untitled Asia and the Pacific only during the early 1990's. [Read the latest report on the Untitled AIDS Epidemic Update in Untitled Asia and the Pacific .]

The map directly below provides "time frame" snapshots (from 1984-1999) of the spread of the Untitled AIDS epidemic in Untitled Asia and the Pacific (click on the figure to view a clearer map).
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled Click on figure for the latest pictographic image of the estimated annual number of new HIV infections worldwide (2003), and by region, 1988 to 2003 (pdf, 2 MB)
Untitled
View Untitled Spread of HIV in Asia & Pacific (figure) and read the latest report on the Untitled AIDS Epidemic Update in Untitled Asia and the Pacific 30


Even today, the rate of Untitled HIV infection remains low (<1%) in many of the countries in Untitled Asia and the Pacific , including Indonesia, Laos, Philippines and Singapore. The exceptions in East Untitled Asia and the Pacific are Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand where the rates of infection exceed 1% among 15-49-year-olds. The majority of the 2.5 million adults and children living with Untitled HIV/AIDS in East Untitled Asia and the Pacific come from these three countries. Thailand alone has more than 700,000 reported cases, with recent estimates running as high as 1 million.

Compare the regional map above of Untitled Asia and the Pacific and the world map below, to have a sense of the extent and concentration of the Untitled AIDS epidemic in Untitled Asia and the Pacific and other parts of the world.

Untitled
Untitled Geographic (worldwide) incidence of HIV and AIDS. Darker red (mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa) signifies higher occurence of HIV/AIDS. View color code to estimate % occurence.
Untitled Click on figure for the latest pictographic image of the estimated annual number of new HIV infections worldwide (2003), and by region, 1988 to 2003 (pdf, 2 MB)


Untitled HIV Untitled Transmission of HIV has been most prevalent among injecting drug users (IDUs) and commercial sex workers. However, because of the extent of the epidemic in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, Untitled HIV infection has found its way through heterosexual Untitled Transmission of HIV in these countries. The extensive "sex industry, injecting drug use (IDU), low condom use and access, and population movements (including cross-border, as well as rural-urban migration and trafficking) have contributed to the rampant spread of the epidemic in these countries. While Thailand has taken steps to control the epidemic, it is out of control in neighboring Cambodia.

At present, women and children constitute about 1-3 % of all Untitled HIV cases in most of the countries in Untitled Asia and the Pacific . However, in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, about 1-3 percent of pregnant women are Untitled HIV -positive. The various "AIDS Maps of some Asian Countries" (view map links below) provide more detailed pictographic representations of the extent of Untitled HIV infection among prostitutes, marriend and pregnant women in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Untitled
AIDS Maps of Some Asian Countries:
      Overview: Spread of AIDS in Asia & Pacific   Thailand:   Sex Workers & Preg. Women
      Cambodia:   Sex Workers & Preg. Women   Vietnam:   Sex Workers & Preg. Women


Deaths from Untitled AIDS -related illnesses and opportunistic infections are projected to increase by almost 90% between 2000 and 2010, but decline by 22% by 2020.

Thailand has been the model in Untitled Asia and the Pacific in the fight against Untitled AIDS . With a very lucrative "sex tourism" industry and a significant proportion of the population involved, the high rate of Untitled HIV infection among sex workers has threatened not only the "sex tourism" industry but also led to significant heterosexual Untitled Transmission of HIV of the disease throughout the country. The Thai government launched a vigorous Untitled AIDS Untitled prevention and Untitled treatment campaign to avert the threat of the epidemic. Recently, there is a sign that the successes achieved the past few years are starting to erode, partly because of complacency both from the government and those most affected by the disease.

With the huge total population of Untitled Asia and the Pacific region, even a small percentage increase in Untitled HIV infection would translate into a significant increase in the number of people living with Untitled HIV/AIDS . India, for example, has less than 0.05% Untitled HIV infection rate, but with more than 1 billion population, the "low percentage" translates to about 4 million people living with Untitled HIV/AIDS . The number of new Untitled HIV infections is expected to double every 14 months. At this rate, India can easily surpass South Africa (currently the country with the largest absolute number of Untitled HIV -infected in the world) in the near future.

The same is true with China, also with more than 1 billion population. Recent liberalization in China encouraged migration (both within and outside of the country). Like many of the East Asian countries, the increasing population of injecting drug users (IDUs) and sex workers have been instrumental in the spread of the disease. Recent reports also revealed the use of contaminated needed during blood donation and subsequent use of the blood products has resulted in significant Untitled HIV infection in some villages in China. Until recently, China has denied the latter allegations and thegrowing Untitled AIDS epidemic within each border.

Like India, many of the other South Asian countries have very low Untitled HIV infections among the general population. However, in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka Untitled HIV infection is rather high among a growing population of injecting drug users (IDUs) and sex workers. In Nepal, for example, about 45% of the IDU population in Katmandu is infected with Untitled HIV .

The same trend has been observed also in countries in East Untitled Asia and the Pacific , like the Philippines, where there is low Untitled HIV infection among the general population but very high among IDUs and sex workers.

If the "flash point" is ever reached, it is possible that the Untitled Asia and the Pacific region can rival the Untitled AIDS pandemic in Untitled Sub-Saharan Africa .