Thai AIDS Death Toll Down Sharply in 2005
January 4, 2006
From January through November 2005, Thailand recorded 1,478 deaths from AIDS, compared to 6,593 for the same period in 2004. "The sharp drop is because of widespread access to antiretroviral drugs which resulted in improvements to the lives of people living with AIDS and HIV," Disease Control Department Director Thawat Suntrajarn said Monday in a statement. Locally produced AIDS drugs are available under a plan that lets the poor receive hospital treatment for about 75 cents US per visit. In addition, health authorities are stocking some 24 million condoms in 4,575 vending machines nationwide. The ministry also hopes to reduce drastically the number of babies born HIV-positive, about 2,400 last year. The estimated 18,000 new HIV/AIDS cases reported last year occurred largely among homosexuals and teenagers, Thawat said.
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