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International News

Thailand: Study Finds High HIV Infection Rate Among the Married

April 1, 2011

Fifty-three percent of people newly infected with HIV in Thailand's northern provinces last year reported getting the virus from their husband or wife, according to study results presented at the three-day National AIDS Conference. Some 3,500 activists and experts gathered for the conference at Bangkok's Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani.


Dr. Somyos Kittimankhong of Thailand's Department of Disease Control's Anti-AIDS Division discussed the study by Phitsanulok province's Disease Prevention and Control division area 9. He said HIV testing is crucial if the country is to reduce the spread of the disease.

"If we want to reduce new HIV cases, we need at least 10 million people to undergo the HIV test," said Somyos. Most people are unaware that the National Health Security Office conducts free testing twice a year, he said. Of the 300,000 to 400,000 who tested in hospitals, around 7 percent were found to be HIV-positive, he noted.

Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanavisit said approximately 27 provinces account for more than 70 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in Thailand. The ministry is focusing its prevention and testing efforts on these areas, he said. The anti-AIDS bureau will install condom boxes offering free prophylactics in three sizes at saunas, sex and entertainment venues, and places frequented by gay men, he said. But AIDS Access Foundation Director Nimitr Tienudom said free condoms should be available to all Thais, not just those at high risk.

Back to other news for April 2011

Adapted from:
The Nation (Bangkok)

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Thailand and HIV/AIDS

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