December 2, 2010
Thailand's campaign to reduce new HIV infections among young people has been showcased during World AIDS Day events in the country this week.
"Most new infections are detected among people aged between 19 and 29," said Dr. Somyot Kittimunkong, director of the AIDS division at Thailand's Disease Control Department.
About 520,000 people in Thailand are HIV-positive, and almost 11,000 new infections have been reported there so far this year. Some 250,000 people have taken advantage of free HIV testing offered by the National Health Security Office, about 7 percent of whom tested positive.
Each year, some 20,000 government bureaucrats seek reimbursement for antiretroviral therapy offered through the country's health care unit, Somyot said. Thai health officials said gay men are at highest risk for the epidemic, followed by spouses of HIV-positive individuals.
Also at risk for HIV are the nation's foreign-born workers, who have limited access to HIV-related information and treatment, health officials noted.