The Socio-Economic Impact of HIV at the Household Level in Asia
A Regional Analysis of the Impact on Women and Girls
Discussion regarding the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV in Asia and the Pacific is too often grounded in ideologies, as well as too often based on weak or biased analysis of available data. However, we do know that HIV among women and girls has seemingly reached a plateau of approximately 35% of all people living with HIV or AIDS for the region as a whole; with some countries experiencing significant percentages of their new cases among women whose only risk factor is being the spouse or girlfriend of a man who engages in high-risk behavior (injecting drug use and/or multiple concurrent sexual partnerships without correct and consistent condom use with sex workers and/or with other men).
Equally revealing is the disproportionate social and economic impacts of the epidemic on women and girls. This manifests in the form of a range of socio-economic burdens on women and girls within HIV-affected households and their constrained access to services. The socio-economic impact studies conducted by UNDP between 2005 and 2010 in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, India and Viet Nam provide considerable empirical evidence that opens a window into the actual and relevant HIV challenges that women and girls face.