Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lack of services for Asia gays is fuelling epidemic

Manila - The World Health Organization (WHO) warnedTuesday that unprotected male-to-male sex was fuelling the spread of HIV and AIDS in Asia, where the epidemic could worsen amid a lack of services to gays. "Men who have sex with men have been identified as one of the most at-risk populations for HIV/AIDS," the Manila-based WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific said in a statement ahead of a meeting in Hong Kong.

"Asia is believed to have the world's largest number of men having sex with men, estimated at 10 million," the office added.

WHO noted that a review in December 2007 of the HIV/AIDS situation in Asia showed that in Cambodia and Vietnam, men who have sex with men were more likely to contract the deadly virus compared with the general population.

The risk of infection was also 45 times higher for men who have sex with men in China.

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