The United Nations says in the past year more than one million people contracted HIV infections in South Asia, and the disease is spreading largely due to drug use and unsafe sex.

In its annual report on the global AIDS epidemic, the world body says the spread of HIV is stabilizing in some of India's states, but overall it is still rising. India already has an estimated 5.1 million HIV-positive people.

According to the report, some 42 percent of female sex workers in India say they are able to guess if their clients are HIV positive because of their physical appearance.

But the report says ignorance about the disease is serious elsewhere in South Asia. Citing Pakistan as an example, the report says one in every five female sex workers in the largest city of Karachi cannot recognize a condom, and one-third never heard of AIDS.