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UN: HIV Infections Rising in Asia


The United Nations report on the worldwide AIDS epidemic says more than one million people in Asia were infected during the past year with the HIV virus that causes the disease.

The survey released Monday by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization says more than eight million Asians are living with AIDS today, a 17 percent increase since a similar report two years ago.

The World Health Organization and the U.N. AIDS agency say more than half a million adults and children died this year as a result of HIV infection and resulting complications.

National infection levels in Asia are low compared with other parts of the world, U.N. officials say, but the region's population density means large numbers of people are living with the virus.

The report warns that "Indonesia is on the brink of a rapidly worsening AIDS epidemic." It also says heightened prevention efforts are needed in China, where the HIV virus has been detected in nearly half of the nation's counties.

The U.N. survey indicates only about one-seventh of all AIDS patients in Asia are receiving appropriate (anti-retroviral) drug treatment.

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