AIDS cases are reported across Asia including China (1 case), Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines and Thailand.
India reports its first AIDS case, and the government orders spot testing of all commercial blood donors.
An estimated 1% of injecting drug users in Bangkok, Thailand are infected with HIV.
By the end of the year an estimated 30% of injecting drug users in Bangkok, Thailand are infected with HIV.
146 injecting drug users in Southwest Yunnan, China are identified as HIV infected.
The first detected case of HIV in Vietnam is reported in Ho Chi Minh City, Laos also reports its first AIDS case.
Cambodia’s first HIV case is reported. Thailand launches Asia’s most extensive HIV prevention programme.
699,000 people in Southeast Asia are infected with HIV; this is 2.0% of the world’s AIDS cases.
The budget for Thailand’s AIDS control programme is increased almost 20-fold to $44 million. The government launches the ‘100 per cent condom programme’ to prevent further infections amongst sex workers.
An outbreak of HIV is reported among paid blood donors in central China. The prevalence of HIV among sex workers in Thailand peaks at 33.2%.
Nearly two and a half million people in Northeast and Southeast Asia are reported to be newly infected with HIV. HIV is spreading rapidly in Cambodia. Only four years after the first report of HIV infection the prevalence among female sex workers, male military, and pregnant women is 37.9%, 8.4% and 2.6% respectively.
An estimated 45% of people who are infected with HIV in Southeast and Northeast Asia are co-infected with tuberculosis.
A randomised controlled trial in Bangkok, Thailand finds that a short course of AZT reduces mother-to-child-transmission of HIV by 50%. Homosexual and/or bisexual transmission accounts for 28.7% of HIV infections in Singapore, 33% in the Philippines, 32% in Hong Kong and 16% in Japan.
HIV infections are reported in all Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, with drug users accounting for 60-70% of reported cases.
AZT to reduce mother-to-child-transmission is used in most hospitals in Thailand. Prevention efforts among sex workers in Cambodia have led to an increase in condom use, which is reportedly 90%. Singaporean AIDS activist Paddy Chew dies of AIDS. He was the first person in Singapore to publicise his HIV-positive status.
Men account for four out of five HIV infections in Asia. Three former drug company executives accused of selling blood products tainted with HIV are jailed in Japan.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India addresses parliament and refers to HIV/AIDS as one of the most serious health challenges facing the country. Migrant workers are contributing to the spread of HIV in Nepal. A study finds that 10% of migrants returning from Mumbai, India were HIV-positive.
Cambodia has Asia’s highest HIV prevalence (2.6%), followed by Thailand (1.8%).
An estimated 7.4 million people in the Asia Pacific region are living with HIV/AIDS, with one million new infections this year. Wen Jiabao is the first Chinese premier to shake hands with an HIV-positive person. Thailand has reduced the number of new HIV infections from 143,000 in 1991 to 19,000 in 2003. It is estimated that of the 1 million people in need of antiretroviral therapy in Southeast Asia, just 5% are receiving it.
The Cambodian government halt a PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) trial due to ethical concerns and pressure from activists and NGOs. A second major AIDS vaccine trial is underway in Thailand despite the failure of a major trial amongst injecting drug users in Bangkok in 2003. The World Bank has so far lent over $100 million dollars for HIV/AIDS programmes in the Asia region.
57,000 people in Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan) are living with HIV. Levels of HIV among injecting drug users in Vietnam reach as high as 63% in Hanoi, and 67% in Hai Phong. 170,000 children in South and South-East Asia, and 6,400 children in East Asia are living with HIV, most of whom became infected through mother-to-child transmission. The Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria withdraws its proposed $98.4 million grants for Myanmar (Burma) due to reported human rights abuses in the country.
Approximately 280,000 people in Asia are receiving antiretroviral drugs; 81% of those in need of treatment are not receiving it. Less than 15% of those in need of antiretroviral treatment in India are receiving it. A report finds that 25% of those people living with HIV in India have been refused medical treatment on the basis of their HIV-positive status. In order to treat more people and cut the cost of second line treatment, Thailand begins to issue compulsory licenses for certain antiretrovirals, the first being efevirenz. In the Republic of Korea HIV/AIDS is predominantly affecting the male population with a current ratio between men and women of about nine to one.
4.9 million people in Asia are living with HIV (range 3.7-6.7 million), and there are 440,000 new HIV infections. An expanded and improved surveillance system leads UNAIDS to reduce its estimates of HIV infection in India from 5.6 million to between 2 and 3.6 million. For the first time ever, unsafe sex overtakes drug abuse as the main transmission route for reported HIV infections in China.
An estimated 1.5 million people need antiretroviral treatment for their HIV infection in East, South and South-East Asia, and only 37% are receiving it. Indonesia has one of the fastest growing AIDS epidemics in Asia, according to its country progress report. Several countries in the region are experiencing a 'feminization' of the epidemic as more women are becoming infected with HIV through their husbands.
The results of the AIDS ‘RV144’ vaccine trial in Thailand are widely publicised and hailed as an ‘important’ step in the search for an AIDS vaccine. However, later reports reveal the information to be less significant than first proposed and possibly misleading. UNAIDS warns 50 million women in Asia are at risk of HIV infection from intimate partners who engage in high-risk sexual behaviours. India overturns a 150 year old law banning homosexuality in a landmark human rights ruling.
The Philippines announce they are on the brink of a concentrated HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men. China detains the HIV/AIDS rights activist Tian Xi.