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UNAIDS Report Highlights Progress, Challenges In Asia-Pacific AIDS Response

“A new U.N. report [.pdf] warns the HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific is at a pivotal juncture with little progress in reducing new infections,” VOA News reports, adding, “AIDS researchers and activists are calling for more political will by governments to address related issues” (Corben, 11/19). “Significant legal and policy barriers still remain for Asia-Pacific countries’ fight against AIDS, a report released on Tuesday by [UNAIDS] showed,” Xinhua/Global Times states. “Currently, all countries in the region have at least one law that hinders the AIDS response, according to the report disclosed at the opening of the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP11) in Bangkok,” the news service writes (11/19). The report “warned of high HIV prevalence in key populations in Asia and the Pacific such as intravenous drug users and men who have sex with men,” China Daily notes (Juan, 11/20).

However, “[n]ew HIV infections were down in 2012 by 26 percent since 2001 in the Asia-Pacific region, to an estimated 350,000, clinching the region’s reputation as an AIDS-response success story,” Deutsche Presse Agentur/The Nation reports (11/19). “This reduction, while welcome, falls far short of global targets aimed at reducing new infections in every country by 90 percent,” according to the Bangkok Post (11/19). “Voicing deep concern over high HIV/AIDS infection among children and teenagers in Asia-Pacific, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) [on Tuesday] called for accelerated actions to address the specific needs of this vulnerable group and wipe out the pandemic,” the U.N. News Centre writes, noting, “A UNICEF-backed report titled ‘Lost in Transitions: Current issues faced by adolescents living with HIV in Asia Pacific’ will be launched on the closing day of ICAAP” (11/19).