workshop 2009 ASIA 100
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AIDS pandemic and global response: progress, remaining challenges
#009 Masahiro Kihara
Masahiro KiharaKyoto University
Vice Dean,, School of Public Health
Professor, Department of Global health and Socio-epidemiology, Kyoto University School of Public Health

Domain:
Socio-epidemiology, HIV epidemiology and prevention

Message for Learners:
HIV epidemic in Asia is embedded in the global context of HIV epidemic and its causes and impacts of the epidemic shares much with other developing world. In this regards I would like to overview the situation, social background and impacts of HIV epidemic globally giving a necessary focus on Asia, in believing that will provide more comprehensive understanding of HIV epidemic.

Emerged late 20 century HIV epidemic has rapidly evolved into the state of pandemic affecting the health of around 58 million people in the world and claiming the lives of 25 million of them to date, mostly in developing countries.

The cause of the epidemic are closely associated with other challenges to development including poverty, illiteracy, gender inequality, and population mobilization that collectively create “social vulnerability” to HIV infection. Because HIV primarily affects those who are in their prime age, it slows economic growth, and deepens household poverty, thus complicating efforts to improve poverty and access to education and health care.

Global action has been greatly expanded in the last decade. Global funding for efforts against AIDS has escalated within several years, now more than 10 billion US dollars becoming annually available for AIDS and the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) has dramatically increased to almost 4 millions to date.

However formidable challenges still remain. No biomedical prevention measure or curative medicine will be available in a foreseeable future. New infection occurs several times more than the increase in the number people on ART in each year. No clear prospect exists whether affordable ART continue to be available in future. To ensure the success in fighting against HIV/AIDS more intensified political commitment and leadership are clearly required.