A new United Nations report urged Asian states to pool resources in fighting AIDS now, or risk a bigger threat in the future. The study predicted 500,000 deaths by 2020 if the regional AIDS trend persists. “Despite a declining trend of new HIV infections in a few countries, AIDS still accounts for more deaths annually among 15 to 44 year-olds than do tuberculosis and other diseases,” the report noted. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon echoed the report’s appeal. “Asian countries can avert massive increases in infections and death, prevent economic losses, and save millions of people from poverty,” Ban said. “Such leadership is critical in Asia today. We will never see equitable progress if some parts of the population are still denied basic health and human rights – people living with HIV, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and young people who inject drugs,” the U.N. leader added.
Source: UN raises alarm on AIDS epidemic in Asia (AFP)