Bloggers offer Asian perspectives on World AIDS Day

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ImageFor about a week, I've been reminded of today's 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day by a giant red ribbon hanging on the World Bank's main building here in Washington, DC. A few stories tall, the ribbon is a simple, yet powerful reminder that 33 million people are living with HIV worldwide. And although East Asia and Pacific countries might not immediately come to mind when you think of the AIDS epidemic, about 2.3 million people in the region are living with HIV/AIDS, according to World Bank estimates from last year.

The disease has rapidly become more prevalent in Thailand and Cambodia, while and other Asian countries like China and Vietnam are beginning to see regional epidemics develop (Click here to see a map of HIV/AIDS in the region). The message of the day wasn't lost on bloggers covering Asia. I don't speak languages in which many of the blogs are written, but posts by several multilingual bloggers eloquently highlighted interesting examples, such as Thailand, China and Singapore.

Global Voices blogger Portnoy used his Twitter account to find a number of Taiwanese bloggers who have documented their personal experiences living with HIV/AIDS. "Initially, I was really shocked to know there are so many blogs kept by HIV-positive bloggers in Taiwan," he writes. "But later ... I was deeply moved by the way they blog and live." Read excerpts from some of the blogs he found here. Other Global Voices contributors profiled and excerpted bloggers living with HIV/AIDS in China and the Philippines.

A number of other websites focused specifically on the day, which falls on Dec. 1 each year. Part of the Bloggers Unite effort, which encouraged bloggers to dedicate a post to their cause, a site called Symphony of Love looked at TV and news coverage of World AIDS Day in Singapore. Danwei, a blog that covers (among other things) Chinese media, also reported that most of the country's newspapers had front page HIV/AIDS-related stories today.

Image credit: freizeit at Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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