HIV/AIDS

Half of people in need get HIV treatment in the Asia-Pacific

Feature story
21 November 2013

Today, Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of WHO’s Department of HIV/AIDS, gave a plenary presentation, entitled The 2013 Consolidated WHO guidelines on ARV use: implementing to achieve maximum impact at the XI International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

In the talk, he noted that many countries in the region are rapidly scaling up ART; for example, China, India, Myanmar, and Viet Nam are the countries that have more than doubled the numbers of people receiving ART between 2009 and 2012. As a result, 51% of eligible adults had access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Asia-Pacific region by the end of 2012. However, regional ART average falls below the average observed in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Asia and the Pacific, with the exception of Papua New Guinea, HIV epidemics are primarily concentrated in key affected populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender persons, and people who inject drugs.

Since July of this year, WHO has conducted workshops for countries in Asia to disseminate the 2013 consolidated guidelines on ARVs recommending earlier, better, simpler treatment for life-saving and preventive benefits in people living with HIV. Dr Hirnschall noted that many regional countries are moving to switch to 2013 recommendations. And regional countries should strive for more focused efforts to provide HIV services for key populations, to improve service quality along the treatment continuum, and embrace and pursue innovation in HIV programmes.

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