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ASIA: young people facing unprecedented health risks from drug-taking and HIV/AIDS

May 12, 2011 · 

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Children and young people in Asia are facing unprecedented health risks from HIV/AIDS and other diseases due to the rapid spread of amphetamine-type drug abuse, UNICEF warned today.

Speaking at the International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, Robert Bennoun, UNICEF Regional Advisor on HIV/AIDS, highlighted an urgent need for more effective and coordinated policies to tackle the growing problem.

“We are witnessing a human tragedy unfolding at an alarming pace affecting our children and young people,” Mr. Bennoun said.

Worldwide, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for the majority of new HIV/AIDS infections. Intravenous drug use accounts for much of the infection. And recent research has shown users of amphetamine-type substances are increasingly injecting their drugs of choice.

Asia is home to approximately 33 million users of amphetamine-type substances. Approximately two-thirds live primarily in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan. Children and young people account for the majority of new users.

source: UNICEF. For the full story, go to:

 http://www.unicef.org/newsline/2003/03nn21chiangmai.htm

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