Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks the body's cellular defense mechanisms that help fight off infections. HIV is transmitted by the exchange of bodily fluids through sexual activity, blood and plasma transfusions, injection drug use (IDU) and unsterile syringes, and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). HIV/AIDS is not curable, but antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) can significantly delay the onset of fatal complications related to AIDS, help prevent MTCT as well as the opportunistic infections that occur as a result of lowered immunity. However, many Asian countries lack the financial and logistical resources required to provide adequate ART coverage; over two-thirds of Asia's HIV-positive population has no access to ARTs.

Heterosexual contact has become the main driver of the ...

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