AIDS Disaster Predicted for Asia

UNO on alert

It is possible that Asia is on the verge of a worse outbreak of AIDS than that which has swept across Africa, according to UNAIDS.

Peter Piot, the Director of UNAIDS, declared at the Economic Summit of East Asia, taking place in Malasia, that the AIDS epidemic in Asia “may become the most serious in the world”, a claim which is backed up by a CIA report which was released last week.

It is estimated that there are currently between six and ten million people infected with AIDS in China and India alone, a figure which is expected to rise to 40 million over the next ten years. Thailand, Cambodia and the Myanmar Republic (formerly Burma) are considered the worst affected countries in Asia in terms of percentage of population infected. India, currently with 4 million infected with HIV, is forecast to have 20 million cases by 2010.

Peter Piot warns Asian governments to treat AIDS as a regional priority, while UNAIDS is urging companies not to forget their responsibility in promoting public awareness programmes among the population, many of whom do not understand what AIDS is or how it is transmitted.


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