Asian Countries Urged To Implement HIV Education, Prevention Programs

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UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot on Thursday at the World Economic Forumin Dalian, China, said that fighting HIV/AIDS in Asia is a "matter ofpolitical will" and urged Asian countries to "adopt education andprevention programs" to reach high-risk groups and reduce stigma, Reutersreports. Piot added that "[r]apid economic development" in Asia -- aswell as "societies in very rapid transition, a huge populationmobility, a lot of new money" and "mobile men with money" -- allincrease the "risk of HIV in a big way."

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According to Piot, HIVis spreading throughout the continent among marginalized groups,including men who have sex with men, injection drug users, andcommercial sex workers and their clients. Piot urged governments totake action in addressing the virus and HIV-associated stigma amongthese groups. "These are not groups that governments like to deal with,but there ought to be far more openness," Piot said, adding, "There isan incredibly high level of stigma around AIDS, and that is somethinggovernments and leaders in business can do something about."

Piotadded that the United Nations particularly is concerned about thetrafficking of girls and women that contributes to the spread of HIV inthe Indian subcontinent. According to a recent Harvard School of Public Health

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