Number of AIDS deaths among young Asians doubles over past decade: UN

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BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -- The estimated number of adolescents dying of AIDS in the Asia Pacific region has more than doubled since 2005, experts said on Monday, warning of a "hidden epidemic."

UNICEF urged Asian countries to improve teenagers' access to testing, saying many young people do not know their HIV status because of parental consent requirements for tests.

SEE ALSO: Bono, Clooney, Kardashian part of all-star campaign for AIDS

The Asia Pacific region has made enormous strides against HIV/AIDS in the adult population, with a 31 percent drop in new HIV infections between 2000 and 2014, and 28 percent decline in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2014.

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Deadliest contagious, infectious diseases
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Number of AIDS deaths among young Asians doubles over past decade: UN

HIV/AIDS: as of 2012, roughly 36 million deaths worldwide since discovery; 1.3 million deaths in 2013 alone

(Photo: HIV-infected T-cells under high magnification, via Getty Images)

Tuberculosis: caused between 1.3 and 1.5 million deaths in 2013

(Photo: Tuberculosis, via Science Photo Library/Getty Images)

Malaria: up to 855,000 deaths in 2013

(Photo: Malarial Parasite inside Red Blood Cell, via Getty Images)

Pneumonia: results in approx. 4 million deaths per year

(Photo: Microphotograph of diplococcus, bacterium responsible for pneumonia, via Getty Images)

Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease: 100% fatal

(Photo: Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease, via Getty Images)

Marburg hemorraghic fever: up to 88% fatal

(AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

Middle East respiratory syndrome: 41% fatal

(Photo: Getty Images)

Rabies: up to 100% fatal if left untreated

(Photo: Brain of a rabies patient showing negri bodies in the cerebellum, via Getty Images)

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However, one in seven new infections in the region last year was among 15 to 19-year-olds, and the estimated number of AIDS-related deaths for adolescents aged 10 to 19 has shot up 110 percent to 6,600 in 2014, from 3,100 in 2005, a U.N. report said on Monday.

At-risk adolescent groups include gay and transgender youth, injecting drug users, and people who buy and sell sex.

"This is the first, definitive report on adolescents - teenagers between 10 and 19," said Wing-Sie Cheng, UNICEF regional adviser on HIV and AIDS.

"This report has been a culmination of more than two years of efforts to try to get all available data to help us understand the picture of the epidemic facing them. We're talking about a hidden epidemic."

The report said an estimated 50,000 adolescents aged 15 to 19 were infected with HIV last year.

Across the region, an estimated 220,000 youths between 10 and 19 are living with HIV, with cities such as Bangkok, Hanoi and Jakarta being the "hubs of new infections", it said.

The 10 hardest hit countries are India, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan.

But the report said it is likely that less than a third of HIV-positive adolescents receive life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy.

See notable people who battled or are battling HIV and AIDS:

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Number of AIDS deaths among young Asians doubles over past decade: UN
Magic Johnson attends at "A Toast To Possibilities" celebrating the Magic Johnson Foundation's Point Forward Day at The Ritz Carlton Residences at L.A. Live on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for AEG Worldwide/AP)
FILE - In this April 11, 2013 file photo, Charlie Sheen, a cast member in "Scary Movie V," poses at the Los Angeles premiere of the film at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. Sheen was sued in Los Angeles Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, by a dental technician who claims the actor punched her in the chest and was abusive during an office visit in late September. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, file)

American rapper Eazy-E

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Freddie Mercury

(AP Photo/Gill Allen)

Actor Rock Hudson is shown in Hollywood, Ca., in 1964. (AP Photo)
Tennis great Arthur Ashe appears on the set of ABC television's "Good Morning America" Thursday, April 9, 1992 in New York. Ashe announced Wednesday that he has AIDS and believes he contracted the HIV virus through a post operative blood transfusion during a 1983 heart operation. (AP Photo)
Alvin Ailey is shown in this Nov. 30, 1983 photo during a rehearsal in New York City. (AP Photo/Paul Burnett)
American fashion designer Perry Ellis (1940 - 1986) at the Council of Fashion Designers of America 1981 awards dinner at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street, New York City, 14th January 1982. (Photo by Tom Gates/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
New York artist Keith Haring decorates the Berlin Wall with 100 meters of graffiti. The artist, famous because of his New Yoek subway painting, begins his work near West Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie on Oct. 23, 1986. (AP Photo/Rainer Klostermeier)

Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

(Photo by Leee Black Childers/Redferns)

Photographer Herb Ritts

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Surveillance in the region is problematic because in many countries teenagers are not allowed to get HIV tests unless their parents sign consent forms.

Only 10 Asia Pacific countries allow young people to access HIV testing and related services without parental permission.

"Many do not want their parents to know that they've had sex. That puts a barrier between them and testing," Wing-Sie said. "If they are turned away from testing, they may be carrying the HIV virus without knowing."

Niluka Perera, project officer for the Youth Voices Count network for young gay men and transgender people, called for greater use of social media, apps, smartphones and tablets to reach young people.

The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (Apcom), which launched a drive in Bangkok last year to encourage young gay men to get tested, announced last week that it had received a £795,195 ($1.19 million) grant from the UK-based Elton John AIDS Foundation to expand the campaign to cities in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

See how people around the world are marking World AIDS Day 2015:

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World AIDS Day 2015
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Number of AIDS deaths among young Asians doubles over past decade: UN
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: The Empire State building is lit with red lights in honor of World Aids Day on November 30, 2015 in New York City. The annual event is observed December 1. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Indian social activists and children release a World AIDS Day awareness sign tied with ballons in Kolkata on December 1, 2015. According to the UN AIDS programme, India had the third-largest number of people living with HIV in the world at the end of 2013 and it accounts for more than half of all AIDS-related deaths in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2012, 140,000 people died in India because of AIDS. The Indian government has been providing free antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment since 2004, but only 50 percent of those eligible for the treatment were getting it in 2012, according to a report by the World Health Organisation. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Volunteers stand with placards beside a huge red ribbon lighted with lamps during an awareness rally on AIDS day on the banks of the Ganges River in Kolkata, India, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/ Bikas Das)
South Korean middle school students hold umbrellas as they form a giant red ribbon during a ceremony to mark World AIDS Day in Seoul on December 1, 2015. Official data show 9,615 South Koreans have been infected with the disease. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE / AFP / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 01: A red Apple logo is displayed during the launch of the world AIDS day 2015 campaign at the Apple store Paris in 'Carrousel du Louvre' on December 01, 2015 in Paris, France. In recognition of World AIDS Day, 1st December, Apple Stores across the globe have turned the logo red. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
A woman holds a red ribbon symbol of the fight against AIDS during a demonstration on the World Aids Day, in Pamplona northern Spain, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
A man lays flowers at the memorial monument dedicated to AIDS victims, to mark the 'World AIDS Day' and in memory of those who have died of AIDS in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
This picture taken on November 30, 2015 shows volunteers holding red ribbons above a piece of paper written in Chinese that reads ''Red ribbons bring warmth to everyone to prevent AIDS' during an event for World Aids Day in Chongqing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A nun walks past by the AIDS sign during a campaign to mark World AIDS Day in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. World AIDS Day is observed on Dec. 1 every year to increase awareness about the AIDS. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A woman holds baskets with reds ribbon symbol of the fight against AIDS, center, and prophylactics during a demonstration on the World Aids Day, in Pamplona northern Spain, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 30: Members of the city's gay community carry a banner that reads: 'Mourning March' as they walk in a procession to commemorate AIDS victims the day before World AIDS Day on November 30, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. According to a recent report released by UNAIDS, the number of worldwide cases fell in 2014 though AIDS remains the leading killer of teenaged males in Africa and AIDS cases are rising in countries across eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, with the main means of transmission being heterosexual sex. According to the report 36.9 million people worldwide carried the HIV virus by the end of 2014. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
A participant delivers a speech about AIDS in front of the red ribbon, the international symbol for AIDS awareness during a campaign to mark World AIDS Day in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. World AIDS Day is observed on Dec. 1 every year to increase awareness about the AIDS. The words, partly seen background, read "The 28th World AIDS Day". (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 01 : Indonesian students light dozens of candles as an act of solidarity with the World AIDS Day in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia on December 01, 2015. People around the world commemorate the 01 December as World AIDS Day aiming to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic in the world caused by the spread of the HIV virus. (Photo by Suryanto/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Indian NGO volunteers light candles in the shape of a ribbon during an awareness rally on the eve of World Aids Day in Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ ARINDAM DEY / AFP / ARINDAM DEY (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian couple walks past a sand sculpture on the eve of World AIDS Day, created by sand artist Sudarsan pattnaik on Golden Sea Beach in Puri, some 65 kms east of Bhubaneswar on November 30, 2015. World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 every year to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. AFP PHOTO / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A HIV-positive person from the Support and Care Centre of the Sumanahalli Society prepares 'red ribbons' on the eve of World Aids Day in Bangalore on November 30, 2015. Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV including 2.6 million children, while the global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million deaths since 2000. AFP PHOTO/ Manjunath KIRAN / AFP / Manjunath Kiran (Photo credit should read MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian school students pose for a photograph as they stand in the shape of a ribbon during an awareness campaign on the eve of World AIDS Day, in Amritsar on December 1, 2015. The UNAIDS agency says some 2.5 million Indians are living with HIV, many of them ostracised by their communities. AFP PHOTO/ NARINDER NANU / AFP / NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)
A HIV-positive person from the Support and Care Centre of the Sumanahalli Society prepares 'red ribbons' on the eve of World Aids Day in Bangalore on November 30, 2015. Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV including 2.6 million children, while the global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million deaths since 2000. AFP PHOTO/ Manjunath KIRAN / AFP / Manjunath Kiran (Photo credit should read MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese women and children from âMaiti Nepalâ, a rehabilitation center for victims of sex trafficking, light candles on the eve of World Aids Day in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 every year to raise the awareness in the fight against HIV. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Nepalese women and children from âMaiti Nepalâ, a rehabilitation center for victims of sex trafficking, light candles on the eve of World Aids Day in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 every year to raise the awareness in the fight against HIV. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Indian school children and social activists hold candles and posters during a rally to create AIDS awareness on the eve of Worlds AIDS day, in Kolkata on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian school children and social activists hold candles and posters during a rally to create AIDS awareness on the eve of Worlds AIDS day, in Kolkata on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian school children and social activists hold candles and posters during a rally to create AIDS awareness on the eve of Worlds AIDS day, in Kolkata on November 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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