HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and leaves the human body defenseless against infections, leading to the incurable condition known as AIDS.
In Bangladesh, there is a low prevalence of AIDS, with the virus affecting 0.1 per cent of the general population. But evidence shows that new cases are on the rise.
HIV is spreading beyond the key groups, such as sex workers and injecting drug users. In the past five years, the numbers of housewives and pregnant mothers with HIV have risen.
The rise in female cases is seen globally as feminisation and an early sign of epidemic.
People infected with HIV can be traced in nearly all 64 districts of Bangladesh, but there is limited scope for monitoring the four Chittagong Hill Districts.
Millions of Bangladeshis migrate to mostly Middle East and Europe to work in blue-collar jobs. The HIV infections among migrant workers are high and increasing.