The South East Asia Region has achieved notable progress in access to HIV treatment, reduction in new infections and AIDS related deaths. 55% of those needing treatment are getting it. To reach the goal of eliminating new infections and AIDS related deaths we need to scale up HIV testing and counselling. HIV testing is gateway to reducing new infections and AIDS related deaths. Yet, less than half of those infected with the virus know their status in the Region. To scale up testing and treatment for HIV, we need to address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
The HIV /AIDS epidemic shows signs of reversal globally and in South-East Asia . WHO and countries are now working towards zero new HIV infections, zero deaths from AIDS-related illnesses and zero discrimination against people living with HIV /AIDS. To achieve this goal, on World AIDS Day 2012, WHO emphasizes the need for all people to learn about their HIV status, and for greater effort to reach and support young people, men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs, migrants and others who are most vulnerable to the disease.
Thirty years after the first human case of infection with HIV/AIDS was reported, the disease burden is showing a decreasing trend in South-East Asia. With new treatment approaches, highlighting access to treatment as a basic human right, the disease profile is also changing to a chronic one. However, key challenges remain in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services: continuing stigma and discrimination; limited capacity of health systems in terms of trained personnel, equipment and drugs; high prices of antiretroviral drugs; and lack of sustained finances.