SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China, India and Cambodia could face an AIDS “catastrophe” as HIV spreads deeper into parts of Asia where health controls are weak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China, India and Cambodia could face an AIDS “catastrophe” as HIV spreads deeper into parts of Asia where health controls are weak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.”In some countries, for example, Cambodia, or in what we believe in China and India, the public health measures have yet to take hold, and the epidemic really is in that phase of scaling up very, very quickly,” said CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding.”It looks like Africa did a decade or so ago,” she told a briefing in Singapore.China, the world’s most populous nation, estimates that around 1 million of its people have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS — a figure the United Nations says could soar to 10 million by the end of the decade.India, with the world’s second-biggest population, has at least 4 million sufferers. In Cambodia, an estimated 158,000 people, or 2.6 percent of adults in the war-scarred nation, are HIV-positive.”If we don’t intervene in those environments we will have a catastrophe of a very, very profound increase in the number of cases,” said Gerberding.The CDC director is meeting Asian health officials to discuss technical support in detecting emerging infectious disease in the aftermath of deadly outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.The United Nations agency UNAIDS says 42 million people are infected with HIV worldwide — 29.4 million of them in Africa. It has killed 25 million worldwide.The United Nations forecasts that by 2010, 45 million more will be infected if the pandemic continues at its current pace, and 70 million will have died by 2020.(Source: Reuters, Thu July 3, 2003 01:49 PM ET )