AIDS in Asia, Hong Kong & China:

Does AIDS threaten the Whole World?

What, if anything, can be done about the spread of AIDS

HONG KONG - 2-20-2009 World Health News

The AIDS virus is spreading rapidly among gay and bisexual men in Asia as younger people are more apt to be homosexual, more apt to have causal sex and more apt to participate in bath house, group sex and other perverted sexual activities such as “water sports” and “gay showers” - where gay men take turns lying down and urinating on each other, health officials said Friday.

It appears this epidemic will worsen dramatically in coming years as homosexual behaviour is more and more accepted among the young elite. Similar comments came at a news conference after a seminar in Hong Kong at which regional AIDS experts discussed the growing trend.

"Younger men engaging in sex with men are entering into a sexual arena without the same level of awareness and without taking the same level of protection that the older generation was taking," Ghidinelli told a news conference.

Asia is believed to have the world's largest number of men who have sex with other men, with a preliminary estimate of 10 million, according to WHO. While describing the figure as "extraordinary high," Ghidinelli said it still appeared to be conservative because of the stigmatization of male-to-male sex among

Ghidinelli said the AIDS experts agreed at the conference to set up a regional task force to collect information on male-to-male transmission of the AIDS virus

BEIJING CHINA - 2-20-2009 World Health News

AIDS was the top killer among infectious diseases in China for the first time last year, a state news agency said. Though the report by the Xinhua News Agency, citing the Ministry of Health, did not explain the jump, a possible factor is the Chinese government's improved reporting of HIV/AIDS statistics in recent years as it slowly acknowledged the presence of the disease.

The number of confirmed HIV infections also nearly doubled since 2005, the Xinhua report said. AIDS was the third deadliest infectious disease in China in 2005, the health ministry said.

It is now the first, followed by tuberculosis, rabies, hepatitis and infant's tetanus - common in rural areas where the stump of a newborn's umbilical cord gets infected - the Xinhua report late Tuesday said.

The government and UNAIDS estimate the number of people living with HIV in China is actually about 700,000 -to 1.5 million - much higher than the confirmed number of infections.

The HIV virus that gained a foothold in China largely due to unsanitary blood plasma-buying schemes and tainted transfusions in hospitals, but last year, health authorities said sex had overtaken drug abuse as the main cause of HIV infections.

The government remains sensitive about the disease, regularly cracking down on activists and patients who seek more support and rights.

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