Thai HIV Education Lacking
Posted by pozlife on October 27, 2007
On Wednesday, a senior Ministry of Public Health (MPH) official said a recent survey shows more than 70 percent of Thai youths had little knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Deputy Permanent Secretary Paichit Varachit said the increased risk of HIV infection among youths is a concern given quickly changing social attitudes.
Only 23 percent of male and 26 percent of female youths understood the development of the disease and its consequences, Paichit said, according to the Thai News Agency. That may partly explain recent surveillance showing that about 50 percent of Thailand’s HIV/AIDS patients are ages 25-34. Many AIDS patients had acquired HIV when they were adolescents, said Paichit.
Among other findings, the survey showed the average age of sexual debut was 15, while only half of Thais use condoms with casual sex partners. Early, unprotected sex puts youths at risk for pregnancy and HIV and could jeopardize their education, Paichit said.
[This summary provided by the CDC National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention | Xinhua News Agency | Oct. 24, 2007]