Six million persons in Asia and the Pacific are living with HIV and AIDS. High prevalence rates continue to be found among key affected populations, including sex workers, injecting drug users and men who have sex with men. At the same time, in many settings, HIV and AIDS are being mainstreamed into the more general population. Most countries in the region have been unable to reduce the prevalence of HIV and AIDS, and in others, the incidence is increasing. Significant challenges to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS include lack of awareness and barriers to achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Further challenges relate to enacting, strengthening and enforcing legislation, regulations and other measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS and other key affected populations. The region has to find ways to develop, implement and monitor policies, programmes and strategies to combat stigma and exclusion connected with the epidemic.
ESCAP, in close coordination with UNAIDS, WHO and other relevant stakeholders, supports countries in Asia and the Pacific in the implementation of the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and in reaching the Millennium Development Goal target of ensuring universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support. This is done by promoting regional cooperation among countries of Asia and the Pacific and through partnerships with people living with HIV and AIDS, civil society and faith-based and private-sector groups. ESCAP members States recently adopted a landmark resolution on the above issues and in mid-2010 a high-level intergovernmental meeting will be convened to review progress accomplished . ESCAP also provides technical support to Governments and other stakeholders by:
ESCAP, with members of the Asia-Pacific Regional Thematic Working Group on Health as well as other partners, also works to integrate HIV and AIDS issues into the wider development agenda to maximize the impact of policies and interventions.