is on the march. Around 6.5 million Asians were HIV-positive at
the end of last year, with more than 3.1 million already dead of
AIDS. The U.N. puts the annual infection rate at about 120,000 --
a figure it admits is probably underestimated. Ranked by the number
of people carrying the virus, here's how Asian countries fare:
the world's highest number of infections. One in 50 pregnant women
in urban areas tests positive, while epidemic levels are reported
among northern drug users. Infected 3,700,000
No. of orphans: 557,570 Deaths in 1999:
Crisis dented government programs on education and prevention. Infection
rates that leveled off are now rising. Overall life expectancy has
dropped by two years.
No. of orphans: 75,000 Deaths in 1999:
levels of infection -- some say higher than Thailand's. An outpouring
of migrant labor to Thailand, China and Bangladesh spreads the scourge.
No. of orphans: 43,000
Deaths in 1999: 48,000
causes most new infections, though there is concern about 4 million
sex workers. An increasingly mobile population is expected to boost
No. of orphans: 4,500 Deaths in 1999:
Asia's highest levels of HIVinfection, which is well established
in all provinces. Private and public sectors have responded well,
but much more needs to be done.
No. of orphans: 13,000 Deaths in 1999:
government is trying, but is ill-prepared for an epidemic among
drugs-users in the north. Infections among sex workers increased
five-fold in four years to 1998.
No. of orphans: 3,200
Deaths in 1999: 2,500
education is high among sex workers, but the country's 4 million
drug addicts are not as well informed. Cheap heroin streams across
the Afghan border.
No. of orphans: 7,900 Deaths in 1999:
use has boomed in the past two years, but few intervention programs
are in place. By the end of 2001, about 1 million injectors could
No. of orphans: 2,000 Deaths in 1999:
rates are spreading slowly. Most new sufferers come from the ranks
of drug users in the north and men who visit sex workers across
the Thai border.
No. of orphans: 680
Deaths in 1999: 1,900
HIV infection rate remains relatively low for a country with a burgeoning
sex industry. Most cases reported to authorities have been sexually
transmitted. Infected 28,000
No. of orphans: 1,500 Deaths in 1999:
of all sex workers are infected with syphilis, meaning condoms aren't
being used. About 25,000 drug-takers regularly share needles. Observers
fear an epidemic.
No. of orphans: 610 Deaths in 1999:
sex workers buck the country's low infection rate. But the country
has the poorest public awareness of HIV and AIDS among industrialized
No. of orphans: N/A
Deaths in 1999: 150
rates are low, though cases are turning up even in the war-torn
north. At present, AIDS is a four-letter word that is not discussed
in many schools.
No. of orphans: 600 Deaths in 1999:
to social stigma, victims usually go overseas for treatment. The
sex industry is blamed for most cases. Prevention campaigns focus
on monogamy and fidelity.
No. of orphans: 120 Deaths in 1999:
than 90% of the small number of HIV cases have resulted from sexual
transmission. Reality check:13% of infections have occurred among
No. of orphans: less than 100
Deaths in 1999: 180
low count so far, but increasing cross-border traffic into southern
China, which has epidemic levels of the virus, is beginning to cause
official concern. Infected 2,500
No. of orphans: N/A Deaths in 1999:
culture that discourages promiscuity and drug use helps maintain
the lowest HIV rate in the region. Migrant labor and new road links
with neighbors are major worries.
No. of orphans: 280 Deaths in 1999: