A new UN report, Adolescents under the Radar which was released late last year, tells of how many people are living with HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific and reveals that numbers are growing fastest among young gay and bisexual men.
The report suggests the rise in mobile dating or hook-up apps and an increase in risky behaviour (including multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom use) may be fuelling the crisis.
Gay men are now using mobile dating apps to meet up for sex and are having more casual sex with more people with the convenience of geographic tracing of the nearest sexual interest.
In Asia-Pacific there were an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections among adolescents aged 15-19 in 2014, accounting for 15 per cent of new infections.
There are now around 220,000 adolescents living with HIV in the region, with large cities like Bangkok, Hanoi and Jakarta hubs of new infections.
The report also blames entrenched stigma and oppressive laws for hindering process in reducing HIV levels. The report states "Deep-rooted stigma and discrimination – personal and institutionalized – exact a heavy toll on adolescents, hindering many from going to health clinics for HIV testing and HIV-related services."
"If they do take an HIV test, they may not pick up the results. Or they may hide their HIV status and refrain from seeking treatment. Or they may begin treatment and then drop out."