HIV Infections In Asia Could Double In 5 Years Without Better Government Response
Source: CBS News
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The number of people in Asia infected with the AIDS virus threatens to double over the next five years unless governments do more to stop the spread of HIV, officials said Friday.
About 8.6 million people are infected in Asia with HIV.
At the current level of inadequate response, it is expected this number will rise to about 20 million in the next five years," the independent Commission on Aids in Asia said.
The nine-member commission, funded by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS or UNAIDS, is holding its two-day Southeast Asia Sub-Regional workshop in Manila.
It said the number of deaths currently average around 500,000 yearly, and financial losses to the Asian region are estimated at $10 billion annually. The economic cost is predicted to rise to as high as $29 billion per year if the epidemic is not controlled within the next five years.
Despite these projections, investments in HIV control in the region remain extremely low at 10 percent of the required $5 billion per year, it added.
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Photo: A monk from Lao PDR, participant to the AIDS Commission Workshop in Manila. Photo by Rey Mendez
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