July 2, 2013
"Cases of HIV and syphilis among gay men in Bangkok are on the rise, according to data released by U.S. and Thai health authorities" and published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Friday, Agence France-Presse reports. According to the report, syphilis prevalence "among gay men more than doubled from five percent in 2005 to 12.5 percent in 2011," and "the annual prevalence of HIV also rose 'significantly,' from 24.5 percent in 2005 to 29.4 percent in 2011 among men who have sex with men (MSM)," the news agency writes. "The data came from the Silom Community Clinic, located in a central Bangkok hospital and near entertainment venues for gay men," and "may not be representative of the wider gay population in Thailand, the study noted," AFP states. HIV prevalence among MSM in Thailand was about 17 percent in 2003 but is now around 30 percent, according to the study, the news agency notes. "[T]he data underscore 'the urgent need for preventive interventions to reduce the spread of HIV and [sexually transmitted infections (STI)] in this population,' the study said," AFP writes (6/29). An article in The Guardian's "Global Development Professionals Network" blog examines different programs addressing the issue (Parry, 7/1).