THE HIV epidemic, which was thought to be mostly under control because to new medical developments like anti-retroviral medications, is resurfacing among young people in the Asia-Pacific area, particularly among young men. According to data gathered by the UN in 2020, infections are on the rise in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Papua New Guinea.
Key populations between the ages of 15 and 24 were found to account for about 26 percent, or one in every four new HIV infections in the area. The disease strikes young Asian men almost twice as frequently as it strikes young women. Despite certain Asia-Pacific nations recording a 50% decline since 2010, HIV rates have decreased but not sufficiently. These were accomplished by preventative initiatives that targeted members of important demographics. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of new HIV infections in the region decreased by just 21%, despite an increase in several nations throughout that time. The Philippines, which topped this list with a staggering 237 percent growth.
Alarmingly, critical populations and their sexual partners account for 99 percent of new HIV infections among people in Asia between the ages of 15 and 24. Compared to the overall population, the number of new HIV infections among young individuals has been extremely high. These people will make up the area’s future workforce.
Ishwar Gilada, who represents the Asia Pacific region on the International AIDS Society (IAS) Governing Council, has sounded the alarm. Gilada stated that strengthening HIV prevention is necessary if the world is to make progress in eradicating AIDS.
Less than 25% of young gay men, men who have sex with men, and young people who inject drugs have received prevention services to protect themselves and other people from getting the deadly virus. Nearly half of new HIV infections in young Asians in 2020 were among gay men and other men who have sex with men.
by: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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