Asia - Regional Overview 2014

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The large and diverse Asian region is home to significant numbers of people who inject drugs. They represent at least one-quarter of the total number of people injecting drugs around the world. HIV epidemics in many Asian countries are being driven by injecting drug use. At the regional level, it is estimated that 16% of people who inject drugs are living with HIV. Significant developments in policy and practice in parts of Asia have signalled a shift towards harm reduction in recent years. More countries in the region have introduced some form of needle and syringe programme (NSP) and have begun to prescribe opioid substitution therapy (OST) to some extent. However, across the region coverage remains far below levels necessary to have an impact on HIV epidemics.

The investment of funds into harm reduction in Asia is poor, with estimates suggesting that currently available funding for the region amounts to only 10% of actual need. A lack of supportive legal and policy frameworks in many countries continues to impede harm reduction responses, with several states prohibiting possession and/or provision of needles and syringes, methadone and/or buprenorphine. Imprisonment or detention in compulsory centres for drug users remains the dominant response to drug use in many Asian countries. Over half the countries in the region retain the death penalty for drug offences, with China, Malaysia, Singapore and Viet Nam considered ‘high-commitment’ states, executing death sentences with regularity.

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* Please refer to the full report below for ranges, where these are available. The maps and tables on this page display midpoint averages only.

Download full Global State of Harm Reduction Report (PDF 8.5 MB).

CountryPeople who inject drugsAdult HIV prevalence amongst people who inject drugsOperational needles-syringe exchanges programmesNumber of operational NSP sites (low)Operational OST programmesNumber of operational OST programmes (low)
AFG200004.4Yes31Yes1
BGD228001.1Yes88Yes3
BTNnknkNonkNonk
BRNnknkNonkNonk
KHM130024.8YesnkYesnk
CHN25800006.3Yes898Yes763
HKGnknkNonkYesnk
IND1785007.14Yes295Yes145
IDN7432636.4Yes194Yes85
JPNnknkNonkNonk
LAO1700nkYes4Nonk
MAC2381.32Yes4Yes4
MYS17000018.9Yes728Yes811
MDV7930NonkYes1
MNGnknkYes1Nonk
MMR7500018.7Yes40Yes18
NPL521746.3Yes40Yes12
PAK25700027.2Yes34Nonk
PHL1445541.6YesnkNonk
KORnknkNonkNonk
SGPnknkNonkNonk
LKAnknkNonkNonk
THA4030025.2Yes38Yes147
VNM27100010.3Yes297Yes80
TWN4030025.2Yes1103Yes90

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