Foreign residents represent an increasing proportion of newly diagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases in Japan, though scant research has addressed this. This study aimed to estimate the diagnosed proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) among foreign residents in Japan, covering 1990–2017 and stratifying by geographic region of the country of origin. A balance equation model was employed to statistically estimate the diagnosed proportion as a single parameter. This used published estimates of HIV incidence and prevalence, population size, visit duration, travel volume, as well as surveillance data on HIV/AIDS in Japan. The proportion varied widely by region: People from Western Europe, East Asia and the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, and North America were underdiagnosed, while those from sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-East Asia, and Latin America were more frequently diagnosed. Overall, the diagnosed proportion of PLWHA among foreign residents in Japan has increased, but the latest estimate in 2017 was as low as 55.3%; lower than the estimate among Japanese on the order of 80% and far below the quoted goal of 90%. This finding indicates a critical need to investigate the underlying mechanisms, including disparate access to HIV testing.
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