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Prioritize HIV prevention for key populations; Asia Pacific, second highest in PLHIV numbers

DATE & TIME: August 11, 2023, 07:00 AM. FILED UNDER: Feature. LINK TO POST:
IMAGE CREDIT: Image shared from email invitation from UNAIDS, July 17, 2023

Asia and the Pacific must prioritize HIV prevention for key populations, UNAIDS Philippines stated in a post on their Facebook page.

In 2022 there were an estimated six million five hundred thousand (6,500,000) people living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region. Among all UNAIDS regions this is the second highest number of people living with HIV. There were an estimated 300 000 new infections and 150 000 AIDS-related deaths last year.

In 2022, 78% of people living with HIV in Asia Pacific knew their status. Almost two-thirds (65%) of all people living with HIV were on antiretroviral treatment and 62% of all people living with HIV had a suppressed viral load. The region did not experience an increase in treatment coverage since 2021 and lags behind the global treatment average of 76%. 

Between 2010 and 2022 new HIV infections in the region declined by 14%. Altogether, the Asia Pacific region accounted for almost one quarter (23%) of new HIV infections globally last year. There are significant variations between nations. While new HIV infections are declining in several Asia Pacific countries, there are rebounds in others, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. 

Across Asia and the Pacific new HIV infections among young people declined by 22% between 2010 and 2022. This trend is not strong enough to end the region’s AIDS epidemic by 2030 and is offset by steep rises in new infections in several countries. The situation of men who have sex with men is especially urgent. Regionally, this key population accounts for about half (52%) of all new HIV infections in the 15 – 24 age group.

This UNAIDS post also invited public attendance to the Path that Ends AIDS, the Asia Pacific launch of the 2023 Global AIDS Update, held online and in Thailand, Bangkok last July 19.

(View the 2023 Global AIDS Update. Download a PDF copy of the report.)

UPDATE: Watch Youtube video uploaded on July 27 featuring Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS regional director on the "Status of the HIV epidemic and response in Asia and the Pacific"