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Home > Countries and Regions > S. and S.E. Asia
Updated June 2011
Regional Overview
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Epidemiology and Trends
Health and Development Profiles
Guidelines and Best Practices
Policy Reports and Papers
Journal Articles
Clinician Support Tools
Program Management Materials
Provider Education and Training
International Organizations
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
Other Information Sources
Comprehensive Indicator Report
Focus on Care and Treatment
Country Profiles
Brunei Darussalam
East Timor
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Sri Lanka
HIV/AIDS in South and Southeast Asia
Population, 20132,391,000,000
People living with HIV/AIDS, 20123,900,000
Women (aged 15+) with HIV/AIDS, 20121,400,000
Children with HIV/AIDS, 2012200,000
Adult HIV prevalence (%), 20120.3
AIDS deaths, 2012220,000
nd = No data
Source: Population Reference Bureau & UNAIDS
South and Southeast Asia map
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Regional Overview

Abstracted from the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS, November 2010.

Epidemiology and Trends

The Asian epidemic is largely stable. In all of Asia, an estimated 4.9 million [4.5 million-5.5 million] people were living with HIV in 2009, about the same as 5 years earlier. Most national HIV epidemics appear to have stabilized. No country in the region has a generalized epidemic. Thailand is the only country in this region in which the prevalence is close to 1%, and its epidemic appears to be stable overall. A resurgent epidemic in the late 1990s (when up to 60,000 people were becoming newly infected annually) has since receded. The adult HIV prevalence was 1.3% [0.8%-1.4%] in 2009, and the HIV incidence had slowed to 0.1%. In Cambodia, the adult HIV prevalence declined to 0.5% [0.4%-0.8%] in 2009, down from 1.2% [0.8%-1.6%] in 2001. But the HIV prevalence is increasing in such low-prevalence countries as Bangladesh, Pakistan (where drug injecting is the main mode of HIV transmission), and the Philippines.

There were 360,000 [300,000-430,000] people newly infected with HIV in 2009, 20% lower than the 450,000 [410,000-500,000] in 2001. Incidence fell by more than 25% in India, Nepal, and Thailand between 2001 and 2009. The epidemic remained stable in Malaysia and Sri Lanka during this time period. Incidence increased by 25% in Bangladesh and Philippines between 2001 and 2009 even as the countries continue to have relatively low epidemic levels.

Epidemic patterns vary between and within countries. The overall trends in this region hide important variation in the epidemics, both between and within countries. In most of them, the epidemics appear stable. In many countries in the region, national epidemics are concentrated in a relatively small number of provinces. HIV infection levels in Indonesia's Papua province are 15 times higher than the national average. Asia's epidemics remain concentrated largely among people who inject drugs, sex workers and their clients, and men who have sex with men. Incidence patterns can vary considerably in large countries such as India. About 90% of people newly infected with HIV in India are believed to have acquired it during unprotected sex, but the common use of contaminated injecting equipment by two or more people on the same occasion is the main mode of HIV transmission in the country's north-eastern states.

Health and Development Profiles
AIDS Epidemic Update Regional Summary - Asia
UNAIDS, April 16, 2008. [PDF, 435K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Fact Sheet: AIDS Epidemic in Asia
UNAIDS, December 2006. [PDF, 45K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Guidelines and Best Practices
Management of Common Health Problems of Drug Users
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. 2009. [PDF, 1MB]
HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment for People Who Inject Drugs in Asia and the Pacific - An Essential Practice Guide
World Health Organization South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions, 2008. [PDF, 1.9MB]
Operational Guidelines for the Management of Opoid Dependence in the South-East Asia Region
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. 2008. [PDF, 1MB]
Management of HIV Infection and Antiretroviral Therapy in Adults and Adolescents
World Health Organization, 2007. [PDF, 1.1MB]
Guidelines for HIV Diagnosis and Monitoring of Antiretroviral Therapy
Regional Office for South-East Asia, World Health Organization, December 2005. [PDF, 1.1MB]
Costing Guidelines for HIV/AIDS Intervention Strategies: For Use in Estimating Resources Needs, Scaling-Up and Strategic Planning in the Asia/Pacific Region
UNAIDS, February 2004. [PDF, 2MB]
Manual for Reducing Drug Related Harm in Asia
Center for Harm Reduction, Macfarlane Burnet Center for Medical Research, and Asian Harm Reduction Network, March 2003. [PDF, 4.7MB]
Guidelines on Standard Operating Procedures for Laboratory Diagnosis of HIV-Opportunistic Infections
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, June 2001. [PDF, 291K]
Policy Reports and Papers
HIV Transmission in Intimate Partner Relationships in Asia
A joint collaboration of the Asia-Pacific regional offices of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Asia-Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) to document and share programming and advocacy experience from across the Asia-Pacific region; 2012. [PDF, 890K]
HIV/AIDS in the South-East Asia Region: Progress Report 2011
World Health Organization, 2011. [PDF, 1.19MB]
HIV Transmission in Intimate Partner Relationships in Asia
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, August 2009. [PDF, 785K]
HIV and AIDS in South Asia: An Economic Development Risk
Markus Haacker and Mariam Claeson, the World Bank, February 2009. [PDF, 3.49MB]
Assessment of Compulsory Treatment of People Who Use Drugs in Cambodia, China, Malaysia and Viet Nam
Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO), WHO, 2009. [PDF, 526K]
HIV & AIDs and Mobility in South-East Asia: A Rapid Assessment
United Nations Regional Task Force on Mobility and HIV Vulnerability Reduction in South-East Asia and Southern Provinces of China (UNRTF). 2008. [PDF, 2.7MB]
HIV Vulnerabilities Faced by Women Migrants: from Asia to the Arab States
UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo. October 2008. [PDF, 2MB]
HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment for People Who Inject Drugs in Asia and the Pacific
Western Pacfic Regional Office (WPRO), South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO), WHO, 2008. [PDF, 1.86MB]
Asia-Pacific Operational Framework for Linking HIV/STI Services with Reproductive, Adolescent, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Services
World Health Organization, 2008. [PDF, 1.7MB]
Redefining AIDS in Asia: Crafting an Effective Response
UNAIDS, Unite for Children (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2008. [PDF, 1.6MB]
Human Trafficking and HIV: Exploring Vulnerabilities and Responses in South Asia
A study of human trafficking in South Asia. The author identifies women and girls from Bangladesh, Nepal and India as particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, along with the associated risk of HIV infection. Javita Narang. Supported by the UNDP and the Japanese Government. 2007. [PDF, 1.3 MB]
Women's Property Rights as an AIDS Response: Emerging Efforts in South Asia
Hema Swaminathan, Nandita Bhatla, Swati Chakraborty. International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, UNDP, Regional Centre, Sri Lanka. August 2007. [PDF, 834 KB]
HIV-Related Stigma and Descrimination in Asia: A Review of Human Development Consequences
Regional HIV and Development Programme for Asia-Pacific, UNDP. July 2007. [PDF, 569 KB]
HIV and Men who have Sex with Men in Asia and the Pacific
UNAIDS, September 2006. [PDF, 1.1MB]
MSM and HIV/AIDS Risk in Asia: What Is Fueling the Epidemic Among MSM and How Can It Be Stopped?
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, August 2006. [PDF, 459K]
AIDS in South Asia - Understanding and Responding to a Heterogeneous Epidemic
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The World Bank, 2006. [PDF, 1.4MB]
Protecting People on the Move: Applying Lessons Learned in Asia to Improve HIV/AIDS Interventions for Mobile People
Family Health International, 2006. [PDF, 1.5MB]
Male-Male Sex and HIV/AIDS in Asia
Monitoring the AIDS Pandemic Network, July 2005. [PDF 1.9MB] See also Drug Injection and HIV/AIDS in Asia and Sex Work and HIV/AIDS in Asia.
A Scaled-Up Response to AIDS in Asia and the Pacific
UNAIDS, June 2005. [PDF, 2.8MB]
A Situation Analysis of Illicit Drug Issues and Responses in the Asia-Pacific Region
Madonna Devaney, Gary Reid, Simon Baldwin. Centre for Harm Reduction, Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, May 2005.
Expanding Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment: Operational Research to Scale Up Antiretroviral Treatment in the South-East Asia Region
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, September 2004. [PDF, 319K] See also Expanding Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment: A Strategic Framework for Action at Country Level [PDF, 62K]
Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS in South Asia: A Study of the Legal and Social Environment of the Epidemic in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka
UNDP, 2004. [PDF, 771K]
Journal Articles
Survival of HIV-infected children: A cohort study from the Asia-Pacific region
Lumbiganon P, Kariminia A, Aurpibul L, Hansudewechakul R, Puthanakit T, Kurniati N, Kumarasamy N, Chokephaibulkit K, Nik Yusoff NK, Vonthanak S, Moy FS, Mohd Razali KA, Nallusamy R, Sohn AH. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 56:4,365-71. Includes commentary from the UCSF Institute for Global Health.
A situation update on HIV epidemics among people who inject drugs and national responses in South-East Asia Region.
Sharma M, Oppenheimer E, Saidel T, Loo V, Garg R. AIDS. 2009 Jul 17;23(11):1405-13.
A rapid situation and response assessment of the female regular sex partners of male drug users in South Asia: Factors associated with condom use during the last sexual intercourse
Kumar MS, Virk HK, Chaudhuri A, Mittal A, Lewis G. Int J Drug Policy. 2008;19:148-58. Includes commentary from the UCSF Institute for Global Health.
Clinician Support Tools
Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings
Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO), WHO, 2009. [PDF, 1.54MB]
Program Management Materials
Scaling Up the Continuum of Care for People Living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific
Family Health International (FHI), World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO), 2007. [PDF, 1.65MB]
Provider Education and Training
HIV Counselling Trainers Manual for the Asia-Pacific
UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, 2009. [PDF, 998K]
Treatment and Care for HIV-Positive Injecting Drug Users: Training Course
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Family Health International (FHI), USIAD, WHO, June 2008. [PDF, 729K]
HIV Care and Antiretroviral Treatment Recording and Reporting System Training Toolkit
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, April 2006. [PDF, 18.1MB]
Voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing: Manual for Training of Trainers
WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, 2004. [PDF, 118K]
International Organizations
Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Project
Managed by UNFPA and UNESCO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Includes demographic profiles, IEC strategies, reproductive and sexual health educational resources, bibliographic and photo databases, and links.
EU/UNFPA Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in Asia (RHIYA)
Collaborates with European and local organizations to improve the sexual and reproductive health of the most vulnerable populations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam.
Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking in Women and Children in the Mekong Sub-Region
Managed by the Office of the U.N. Resident Coordinator in Thailand.
World Bank South Asia: Data, Projects, and Research
World Health Organization: Regional Office for South East Asia HIV/AIDS Programme
World Health Organization: Western Pacific Region
Numerous publications on STIs and HIV/AIDS include antenatal clinic STI surveys; antiretroviral newsletter; epidemiology consensus reports for Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Viet Nam; and surveillance guidelines.
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
South East Asian UN Resources List
Originally the location of the UNDP Special Initiative on HIV/AIDS for South and North East Asia site, it currently lists UN resources for this region.
Asian Harm Reduction Network
Based in Thailand, focuses on HIV/AIDS and injecting drug use in Asia.
Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organizations
Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+)
Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia)
Southeast Asia AIDS/HIV Information
From Utopia, a web site by/for gays and lesbians in Southeast Asia.
Therapeutics, Research, Education, AIDS Training (TREAT) Asia
A new amfAR initiative to strengthen HIV/AIDS care, treatment, and management skills among health care professionals.
Other Information Sources
Evidence to Action Data Hub
Website intended to strengthen evidence-based action towards universal access to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, and care in the Asia-Pacific region.