BANGKOK/MANILA — In a region that is home to two-thirds of the world’s population, an HIV prevalence rate of 0.4 percent — significantly lower than sub-Sahara Africa — translates into more than 8 million adults and children living with HIV. More than 1 million people were newly infected with HIV in South and Southeast Asia in 2005.

The good news is that infection rates need not continue to rise. The low prevalence of HIV means that governments in the region still have a unique opportunity to stop the epidemic before it is too late.

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