Encyclopedia of AIDS

2018 Edition
| Editors: Thomas J. Hope, Douglas D. Richman, Mario Stevenson

South, Southeast, and East Asia-Specific Characteristics of HIV/AIDS Epidemic

  • Chen ZhangEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7101-5_172


An estimated five million people are living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in Asia as of early 2015. While the characteristics of the HIV epidemic in Asia vary from country to country, there are four major transmission routes, including commercial sex work, unprotected sex with commercial sex workers, needle sharing among persons who inject drugs (PWID), and unprotected sex among men who have sex with men (MSM) (AVERT 2015).


Compared to Africa, the Americas, and Europe, the HIV epidemic in Asian countries started a decade later. In the early to mid-1980s, while other parts of the world began to tackle the severe HIV epidemic, Asian prevalence rates were exceedingly low, though this changed quickly in the early 1990s. Although the overall HIV prevalence is still much lower compared to countries in southern Africa, Asia’s huge population makes the absolute number of PLHIV large.

With declining rates of transmission among PWID due to expanded needle/syringe exchange and, in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt Institute of Global HealthVanderbilt University School of MedicineNashvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sten Vermund
    • 1
  1. 1.Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public HealthYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA