• Kyodo


Japan needs to put out more clear information about HIV/AIDS to educate people, especially the young, to stop the spread of the disease, a U.N. expert said Wednesday.

Peter Piot, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, said in a teleconference from Washington that a lack of information leads Japanese youngsters to still believe in the myth that AIDS only infects foreigners.

“When I look at the newspapers, reports from the media, it is rarely an issue in the Japanese media,” Piot said.

Although Japan has one of the lowest number of HIV/AIDS cases in Asia, the number continues to rise, he said.

Without education, Piot said, “Japan will turn to at least the level of what we’ve seen in other highly developed countries.”

Piot said the recent surge in HIV/AIDS cases in Japan is mainly caused by a change in sexual behavior among the young, particularly in the cities, where they have gained more sexual freedom.

The problem “is also reflected in the increase in the rate of the sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhea, chlamydia infections,” he said.

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