News / Asia

UN Presses Asia To Counter Rising HIV Infections

The United Nations is calling for countries in Asia to step up efforts to counter a rising trend of HIV infections among women who are becoming infected due to their partners' high-risk behavior.  

U.N. AIDS experts, meeting in Thailand, say a rising incidence of HIV infections among women and girls in Asia requires an acceleration of programs to empower women and provide greater protection against the risk of HIV infection.

UNAIDS says female populations in several Asian countries have fast growing HIV rates.  The agency says AIDS is the leading cause of death among women in the reproductive age group worldwide.

The increasing threat of HIV infections among girls and young women needs to be addressed by national governments said UNAIDS Regional Advisor on Gender and Human Rights, Jane Wilson.

"There is very, very clear evidence that women are very much at risk of HIV infection and it is not being addressed.  Whether you look at epidemiology or social cultural factors or impact of poverty ... or the fact that national AIDS campaigns are not gender sensitive ... there is a big gap in the way programs are developed and the way policies are actually positioned," said Wilson.

UNAIDS estimates 1.6-million women living with HIV account for 35 percent of all HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific region.  In 1990 women accounted for 18 percent of all HIV infections in Asia.

UNAIDS and UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, is calling for greater protection of the legal and human rights of HIV positive woman and girls.  Officials say infected females often face gender inequalities, social stigma, and violence, including sexual violence with intimate partners.

Wilson said the infection rates are increasing among women whose partners have unprotected sex with other men or whose partners are injecting drug users.

"It appears to be a slow upward moving trend.  So these rates of infection will continue and larger numbers of women will be widowed, children will be without mothers," said Wilson. "It is really a drastic situation and we are talking about impact mitigation here."  

Anandi Yuvraj from the International Community of Women Living with HIV said government policies should focus on raising awareness among younger women to provide better protection.

"There is still a big gap in terms of really empowering women because, as I said, including the country I come from India, there are many states not really putting in programs that address the young women and girls' needs: life-skills education and sex-education programs that help women to really understand the situation," Yuvraj said.

Activists also want to see an end to criminalization of people based on sexual and drug-use practices as well as equal access to health and HIV treatment services.  

More than 200 representatives from across Asia, led by UNAIDS, the U.N. Development Fund for Women, and the Global Fund for AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria, are attending the meeting.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid