Asia's 'Big Three' may mainstream AIDS | india | Hindustan Times
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Asia's 'Big Three' may mainstream AIDS

Three Asian nations, including India, that are home to 40 per cent of the world's population are now at the point where HIV infection could leap into the mainstream.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2003 12:55 IST

Three Asian nations including India, that are home to 40 per cent of the world's population are now at the point where HIV infection could leap out of narrow "risk" groups and into the mainstream, two UN agencies warned.

China, India and Indonesia, which have a total population of more than 2.5 billion people, could follow the tragic path trodden by Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAIDS said.

"There are increasing warning signals that serious HIV outbreaks threaten in several countries [in Asia]," they warned in their annual report, "AIDS Epidemic Update."

Of the estimated 40 million people worldwide with AIDS or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), around 7.4 million live in Asia and the Pacific, according to its figures. A million people in this region will have caught the virus this year, and half a million will have died.

Across the region, HIV prevalence remains under one percent of the adult population, which may seem tiny compared to the AIDS-ravaged countries of southern Africa, where more than a quarter of adults aged 15-49 have the virus. That figure... Can be deceptive. Several countries in the region are so large and populous that national aggregations can obscure serious epidemics in some provinces and states," the report said.