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HIV/AIDS Prevalence Rates in Asia
HIV/AIDS Prevalence Rates in Asia
-Mohammad Khairul Alam-
-Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation-
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues to spread around the world. As per the estimates of United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 39.5 million people were living with HIV in 2006. In this year 4.3 million were newly infected, it has turned a serious global epidemic, virtually all of them in poor or developing countries. The disease has been most devastating in Africa. In some African region over 20% of the population is infected. The epidemic is growing most rapidly among some individual localities, communities, ethnic groups, tribal groups or subpopulations and poor populations. While the spread of HIV/AIDS in Asia has not been as rapid as in Africa we in Asia must not be complacent about the disease. An estimated 8.6 million people were living with HIV in Asia.
Some countries in Asia already have critically high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates and the disease is beginning to get a foothold in some other countries. China and India account for the predominant share of total known cases of infection in the region. Approximately 5.7 million Indian people were living with HIV in 2005, and near about 1.1 million were living with HIV in China at the end of 2005. Cambodia and Myanmar have rates approaching 2 percent of the population. Serious epidemic among men who have sex with man(MSM) are being uncovered in Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Viet Nam. Already more than one million people have died in this region from HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS is a disease that is not easy to catch. Infections are largely passed on during risky or unprotected sex, either between a man and a woman or a man and a man (MSM). Injecting drug users (IDUs) transmit the virus if they share infected needle and, although it was once a problem, blood transfusions are now screened to make sure they do not contain the virus. Transmission in saliva is virtually impossible. The virus can cross the placenta in HIV positive pregnant mothers but medicines are available that can reduce the chance of the baby being born HIV positive.
The scenario of rural areas in Bangladesh, major population in here depends on agriculture. Since agriculture mostly depends on uncertain monsoon, economic condition of people in general is poor. Lack of non-farm sector activities, high incidence of poverty, lack of employment opportunity and subsequent economic pressure promotes out migration in search of livelihoods. Day-labour migration at large-scale, particularly to different areas of Bangladesh, would contribute to their risk and vulnerability to several STDs or HIV.
The reason of accessibility, injecting/ intravenous drug users and the number of new injectors are increasing all area in Bangladesh. Injecting drug users are not isolated from our society; some of them have sexual partner, some of them sell or buy sex from others, they sell blood. In addition, about 13% of sex workers reported having injecting drugs. This round linkage can potentially spread the epidemic widely to the general population.
Recently, ‘Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallan Foundation’ response to HIV/AIDS has focused mostly on three types of work: community mobilization for prevention through the promotion of fidelity, condom-use and abstinence; advocacy on access to affordable treatments, targeted at medicine producers and international donor organizations; and work to ‘mainstream’ support to AIDS-affected individuals and communities into poverty mitigation work. HIV/AIDS has good relation between poverty and gender inequality. Without decline gender discrimination, poverty, all effort will destroy to prevent HIV/AIDS or sustainable development of this sector.
Source: Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation, UNAIDS, CARE, UNICEF