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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid